was a professional Swiss Kyokushin karateka and kickboxer from Wohlen, Switzerland. Hug was the K-1 World Grand Prix 1996 champion and runner up in 1997 and 1998.
Andy Hug died in August 24, 2000 as a result of leukemia a few weeks short of his 36th birthday. A shrine commemorating Hug was placed in Tokyo
Highlights of a career:
The Seidokai Association, brought into being by Ishii, the martial arts promoter, promoted two forms of training: That of the classic full-contact karate and that of Thai and kickboxing, which form the training basis for Seidokan contests. Ishii was disturbed by the fact that there were countless masters in the various types and associations of martial arts, without any comparison ever having been drawn between them. Therefore and, as a result of his efforts, the full-contact league K-1 was founded in 1993. The letter K stands for karate, kung fu, kempo and kickboxing, and the number 1 for the strongest fighter, the number one. As early as the first events, the tickets were sold out after an hour and the TV ratings shot up.
Tokyo, March 1994. In the Budokan stadium, thousands of people celebrated the new heroes of the K-1 professional league with an enthusiasm that bordered on hysteria. At this time, all martial arts insiders were in agreement that in technical respects there was a huge difference between the very experienced kick and Thai boxers and the contact karate practitioners. Dyed-in-the-wool Thai boxers probably respected Andy Hug as a karate or Seidokan star, but not as one of theirs, because he had started in this discipline too late. The fact that Andy, who had previously contested only two Thai-boxing fights, dared to put himself up against the heavyweight world champion Branco Cikatic in the ring, caused astonishment even amongst his critics. For a martial arts fan, this encounter was a unique experience. The cycle of the various sequences appeared almost as if the best scenes from different fights had been cut out and joined together. After the last round, everyone waited for the umpires' verdict. All three gave victory to Andy. He was clearly the stronger one and had won. In his career as a fighter, the contest against Branco Cikatic had been up to then surely his greatest challenge and had demanded of him the most skill and strength.
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 professional world champion in full-contact karate
> the first karate fighter 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.
> 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
> WKA European Muay Thai Super Heavyweight
Many believe him to be the greatest fighter to ever live.
Knowing how sick he was Andy had this to say.
I think that you will be shocked when you hear in what state of health I am. When the doctor told me about it, it was an enormous shock even for myself. But I want to inform you about my state of health so that I can fight together with you against this illness. This illness is the most severe opponent of all my fights. But I will win. As if I would stand in the ring I will get power from your cheers and beat this strong opponent. Unfortunately I will not be able to fight at the tournament in October. I will fight against this illness in Japan and one day I will appear again with you. Don't lose hope!
After his last fight with Cro Cop, Hug addressed the crowd.
"Hallo everyone! Today is the last time that I'll be standing here. For me this is a wonderful farewell. I always wanted to show you my best and have always fought from the heart. I wanted to show you what top-class sport is and what K-1 is. It is one of the hardest types of sport; you have to be trained specifically for many disciplines, so as to be able to get so far at all. Everyone who fought this evening has really given of his best – I believe that is worthy of huge applause."
After that the ringside announcer had this to say.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we are saying goodbye here in the ring to a great sporting legend, a great fighter and a great human being. Andy is right, you have been fantastic spectators and we want to enjoy this moment with him!"