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Andy Hug – gone but never forgotten

Today 20 years ago martial arts icon Andy Hug passed away.

The sudden death of an iron man caused shock and sadness all over the World.  K-1 champion Andy Hug died of acute leukemia in a Tokyo hospital on August 24, 2000, at age 35.

Andreas “Andy” Hug (September 7, 1964 – August 24, 2000) was a Swiss karateka and kickboxer who competed in the heavyweight division. Considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight kickboxers of all time, along with Mirko Cro Cop, Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky, Ernesto Hoost and Semmy Schilt, Hug was renowned for his ability to execute numerous kicking techniques rarely seen in high-level competition and although he was usually smaller than his opponents, standing at 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) and being barely a heavyweight, weighing around 98.0 kg (216.1 lb; 15.43 st) in his prime, he made up for his lack of size with his tremendous athleticism and speed. A southpaw, his trademark kicks included the axe kick and the “Hug Tornado”, a low spinning heel kick targeting his opponents’ thighs.

Andy Hug was

  • The first Swiss national to advance to the world’s top ranking in Kyokushinkai Karate.
  • The first non-Asian to achieve entry to a world championship final.
  • The first non-Asian to become a professional world champion in full-contact karate
  • The first karate fighter was able to hold his own against the best kick and Thai boxers.
  • The first martial arts fighter with a karate background to win the K-1 Grand Prix.

Titles WON

  • Karate World Cup Champion 1992
  • Karate World Cup Finalist 1993
  • K-1 World Grand Prix Champion – 1996
  • K-1 World Grand Prix Finalist – 1997, 1998
  • K-1 World Grand Prix Last 8 – 1994, 1999
  • UKF World Super Heavyweight Champion 1994
  • WMTC World Super Heavyweight Champion
  • WKA World Muay Thai Super Heavyweight Champion 1996
  • WKA European Muay Thai Super Heavyweight Champion 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000

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Andy Hug in a thrilling documentary about his life:

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