Muay Thai kickboxing legend Ramon (The Diamond) Dekkers died at the age of 43 in his native Netherlands Wednesday. Dutch newspaper BN DeStem was first to report the news. According to reports, Dekkers died after having a heart attack while riding a bicycle.
Dekkers was an eight-time Muay Thai world champion and regarded as one of the most influential strikers in the history of combat sports.
The Dutchman’s career spanned nearly two decades; Dekkers retired in 2006 with a record of 186-33-2, including 95 knockouts, and was the first non-Thai to be named Thai Boxer of the Year.
After retirement, Dekkers remained heavily involved in combat sports as a coach and trainer.
Below is a clip from a documentary about Dekkers produced by his long time camp and management team Golden Glory. You can see by watching Dekkers receive an award in Thailand just how much his career and the sport of Muay Thai meant to him.
And if you’re unfamiliar with his work, take a look at just how dominant Dekkers could be in this highlight video featuring some of the more memorable moments and knockouts from his fighting career:
Dekkers was not only a force in Muay Thai, he also had ties to mixed martial arts and many of today’s top UFC and MMA stars were influenced by Dekkers.
See below as the MMA community paid respects to Dekkers on Twitter.
Just heared that the legendary Ramon Dekkers has died.My condolences go out to his family.
— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) February 27, 2013
RIP. My ultimate fighting hero. twitter.com/MarloesCoenen/…
— MarloesCoenen (@MarloesCoenen) February 27, 2013
Rest in peace Ramon Dekkers. Very sad day for the combat sports world. One of my biggest inspirations. twitter.com/danhardymma/st…
— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) February 27, 2013
Sad day in the Kickboxing world. Ramon Dekkers passed away, RIP to one of the greatest to step in the ring. #Legend
— Mark Hominick (@MarkHominick) February 27, 2013
I have a heavy heart after hearing of Ramon Dekkers passing. He was a hero of mine. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
— Carlos Condit (@CarlosCondit) February 28, 2013
Very sad to hear mr Ramon Dekkers passed away, only 43 years old.. Way 2 young, may he rest in peace.. My thoughts are with his loved ones
— Stefan Struve (@StefanStruve) February 27, 2013
RIP Ramon Dekkers, a true Muay Thai legend. Was a huge inspiration for me, and one of the reasons I first went to Thailand to train.
— Mike Quick Swick (@officialswick) February 28, 2013
So sad to hear of the passing of Muay Thai legend Ramon Dekkers. He was a pioneer, an inspiration to me & one of the best ever. RIP
— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) February 27, 2013
— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) February 27, 2013
Rip Ramon Dekkers!!! He was and still is an inspiration for all strikers out there for sure! #godbless!!! ??
— Thiago Alves. (@ThiagoAlvesATT) February 27, 2013
Said day when a legend like Ramon dekkers passes. He will always be a legend and one of my idols
— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) February 27, 2013
Much love & respect to the legend Ramon Dekkers. Thank u for all you’ve given us. My sincere condolences to his family friends and students.
— Mark DellaGrotte (@MarkDellaGrotte) February 28, 2013
— Duke Roufus (@dukeroufus) February 28, 2013
@newbreed04: Rip Ramon Dekkers always fun to watch your fights. True legend.
— Erik Jon Koch (@NEWBREED04) February 27, 2013
I read Ramon Dekkers, legend of Muay Thai has passed away. He was a real crusher in the ring. To the halls of battle. bit.ly/YFqqXq
— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) February 27, 2013
Is Ramon Dekkers really gone? Man what sad a day R.I.P my man! #kblegend
— Jerome-Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) February 27, 2013
Another Ramon Dekkers Highlight. I use to watch this non stop when i first started training and it never gets… fb.me/2NMwvSt4o
— Luigi Fioravanti (@ItalianTank0351) February 28, 2013
— Cosmo Alexandre (@CosmoAlexandre) February 27, 2013
Yes, it’s true, the greatest Thai boxer ever has passed away today. If you have read interviews of me from 25… fb.me/Z7LK5JLg
— Bas Rutten (@BasRuttenMMA) February 27, 2013
In shock to hear that the man who did so much for the sport of kickboxing, my favorite fighter, Ramon Dekkers, has passed away.
— Germaine de Randamie (@IronLadyMMA) February 27, 2013