(Because fuck Badr Hari.)

The fighting world lost a good guy legend this week when Ramon “The Diamond” Dekkers collapsed after a bike ride in his hometown of Breda, The Netherlands.  He was 43.  After training Muay Thai with Cor Hemmers in The Netherlands, Dekkers became the first non-Thai fighter to be named Muay Thai fighter of the year.  Eight time world champion and all around excellent dude, Dekkers still trained fighters at his home gym of Golden Glory, which has produced the likes of Siyar Bahadurzada, Marloes Coenen, and Alistair Overeem.  The day of his death he tweeted: “How exciting the future looks for kickboxing!”  Duke Roufus had this to say when he learned of Dekkers’ death:

I wanted to express my gratitude & respect to late great Ramon “Diamond” Dekkers…  I went to Thailand trained at Sityodtong where Rob [Kaman] and Ramon had before me. I wanted to follow in footsteps of their greatness.

I never reached the heights that he did as a fighter but he was inspiration for me follow my dream.  I am the coach that I am today because of these guys inspiring me.

1994, down the road from Sityodtong I had my Thai Shorts on after training…  a Thai guy says to me “You train Boxing?  You want to be the next Lamon Dekkaa”?  Yes I did!  RIP Champ.

Ramon Dekkers’ kickboxing record?  221 fights.  186 wins.  33 losses.  2 draws.  95 wins by KO.  Not too bad for a short, unassuming-looking white guy, but the look on his face when he went in the ring pretty much assured he was there to break down his opponent’s will to live.  Watching Dekkers fight is a thing of beauty, so instead of reading about how he was taken too young and how the martial arts world will miss him, why don’t you take an early Friday, pour a drink, and appreciate greatness: