Andreas "Andy" Hug was a Swiss karateka and kickboxer who competed in the heavyweight division.
57 Facts About Andy Hug
Andy Hug became the first non-Japanese fighter to make it to the final of the competition but again lost to Shokei Matsui.
Undeterred, Andy Hug continued to improve his skills for the kickboxing ring and rebounded by winning the Universal Kickboxing Federation World Super Heavyweight Championship in December 1994 when he knocked out Rob van Esdonk.
Andy Hug suffered another setback at the K-1 Grand Prix '95 Qualifying Round when he was stopped by Mike Bernardo but he would have his revenge the following year at the K-1 Grand Prix '96 when he won the tournament by finishing Bernardo with the "Hug Tornado" in the final.
Andy Hug continued to be one of K-1's top contenders in the following years, reaching the final of the K-1 World Grand Prix twice more and becoming a three-time world champion by taking the WMTC and WKA titles under Muay Thai rules.
In early August 2000, Andy Hug started feeling unwell in Switzerland.
Andy Hug died, aged 35, a week later in Tokyo, the day after it was made public that he was in a coma.
Andy Hug's legacy remains as a true legend in kickboxing and knockdown karate, as well as one of the greatest heavyweights in the history of both sports.
Andreas Andy Hug was born in Zurich, Switzerland on 7 September 1964.
Andy Hug's father, Arthur, was a Swiss of French and Swiss descent and was a French Foreign Legionnaire.
Andy Hug died in Thailand under mysterious circumstances without ever seeing his son.
Andy Hug began playing association football competitively at the age of six and went on to represent the Switzerland national under-16 football team.
Andy Hug's grandmother saw the boy's passion for the art and eventually convinced the grandfather to relent.
Andy Hug chose karate and at fifteen won the 1979 Swiss Oyama Cup, a national Kyokushin competition.
Andy Hug completed his butchery apprenticeship in 1984 and took a job in Wohlen's main wholesale butchery.
Andy Hug won the Swiss Oyama Cup for a second time that year, beating Heinz Muntweiler in the final, before further establishing himself as the country's top Kyokushin fighter by winning the 1982 Swiss Championships at middleweight.
Andy Hug again made it to the last sixteen at the 7th Dutch Open in 1983 and in 1984, he moved up to the heavyweight class with instant success, winning the Swiss nationals.
Andy Hug was able to battle his way through and reached the final sixteen but lost to Shokei Matsui on points.
Andy Hug returned to the World Open in November 1987 and made history by becoming the first gaijin to reach the final of the tournament, booking his place with a judges' decision win over Akira Masuda in the semis.
Andy Hug won the 1st Sursee Cup in 1988, defeating Kenji Midori in the final, and became a two-time European champion in 1989 when he beat Michael Thompson to win the 5th European Championships in Budapest.
Andy Hug debuted as a Seidokaikan karate fighter on July 30,1992, defeating Toshiyuki Yanagisawa on points at the Seidokaikan Kakutogi Olympics II.
Andy Hug then competed in and won the 1992 Seidokaikan Karate World Cup on October 2,1992, overcoming Taiei Kin in the final.
Undefeated as a Seidokaikan fighter, Andy Hug entered the K-1 Illusion 1993 Karate World Cup on October 2,1993, defeating Yoshinori Arata, Changpuek Kiatsongrit and Toshiyuki Atokawa on his way to the final where he met Masaaki Satake.
Andy Hug won by first round knockout, dropping Murakami with a body kick early before finishing him off with a right hook soon after.
Andy Hug came into his own as the fight went on, utilizing his kicking game to better effect and boxing from the inside, even forcing a count of his own on the Croatian before winning a unanimous decision after five rounds.
Andy Hug struggled with Smith's aggression and punch-heavy style, suffering three knockdowns in nineteen seconds and losing by technical knockout.
Some pundits, most notoriously Dave Meltzer, have expressed their belief that Andy Hug's loss was a fight fixed in order to increase Smith's popularity.
Andy Hug had problems with his gumshield as his molars didn't clamp down on it properly and he was instead pinching it with his incisors.
On March 3,1995, Andy Hug entered the 1995 Grand Prix at the round of sixteen qualifier where his rivalry with Mike Bernardo began.
Andy Hug had a quick turnaround, as he was back in the ring on May 4,1995, scoring a forty-five second knockout over Peter Kramer in a K-1 World Grand Prix 1995 non-tournament affair.
On June 10,1995, Andy Hug made the first defence of his UKF title against Dennis Lane at K-1 Fight Night in Zurich, the first K-1 event held in Switzerland.
Andy Hug was able to make it back to his feet but was clearly on wobbly legs and the referee in charge, Genshu Igari, stopped him from taking any more damage than was necessary.
Andy Hug persisted after a rejuvenating unanimous decision win over Jerome Le Banner at K-1 Hercules on December 9,1995, and went into the 1996 campaign in good form.
Finally, after five grueling rounds, Andy Hug was ruled the victor by split decision.
Bernardo went down from a roundhouse kick to his left thigh but got back to his feet only for Andy Hug to deliver one of the most spectacular stoppages of the 1990s, landing the "Andy Hug Tornado" on Bernardo's already-injured left leg to put him away and clinch the coveted K-1 World Grand Prix Championship.
Andy Hug returned to Zurich to face Muay Thai stylist Sadau Kiatsongrit in his second and last defence of the UKF super heavyweight title at K-1 Fight Night II on June 2,1996, dispatching the Thai with a right hook at the end of round two after flooring him moments earlier.
At K-1 Star Wars '96 on October 18,1996, Andy Hug beat Masaaki Satake by unanimous decision in a rather lackluster rematch of the 1993 Seidokaikan Karate World Cup final to win his third title in the span on five months, the WKA World Super Heavyweight Muay Thai strap.
Andy Hug's eight fight win streak was brought to an end by then-two-time K-1 Grand Prix champion Peter Aerts in the first of their four meetings at K-1 Kings '97 on March 16,1997.
Andy Hug then fought to a five-round split draw with Sam Greco at K-1 Braves '97 on April 29,1997, before having his fourth and final battle with Mike Bernardo in his first WKA world super heavyweight title defence on June 7,1997, at K-1 Fight Night '97 in Zurich.
On July 20,1997, at K-1 Dream '97, Andy Hug met Francisco Filho in a rematch almost six years in the making; Filho had KO'd Hug at the third round of the 5th Kyokushin World Open back in 1991.
Andy Hug rebounded with a unanimous decision victory over Curtis Schuster on April 9,1998, at K-1 Kings '98 and then had his third meeting with Peter Aerts in Zurich on June 6,1998, at K-1 Fight Night '98.
The 1998 Grand Prix began on September 27 with the round of sixteen at the K-1 World Grand Prix '98 Opening Round where Andy Hug faced off with Mark Russell, one of the few opponents in his career who he had a size advantage over.
Andy Hug scored a knockdown over England's Russell in the latter part of round one and finished the job in two with a second consecutive leg kick stoppage.
The tournament final saw Andy Hug draw Peter Aerts and in their fourth and final match against one another, Aerts emerged victorious via head kick knockout in the first round.
Around this time, Andy Hug turned his hand to training other competitors at his facility in Lucerne, Switzerland, bringing through the next generation of Swiss heavyweights in Xhavit Bajrami, Bjorn Bregy and Petar Majstorovic as well as foreign talent such as Michael McDonald.
Andy Hug began 1999 in devastating fashion, knocking out Tsuyoshi Nakasako with a second round spinning heel kick at K-1 Rising Sun '99 on February 3 and scoring a second TKO over Ray Sefo in their rematch at K-1 Revenge '99 on April 25 when the New Zealander's corner pulled their fighter out at the end of round four due to damage sustained.
Andy Hug took a majority decision in his rematch with Musashi at K-1 Burning 2000 on March 19 and a unanimous decision against Glaube Feitosa after a back-and-forth war at K-1 The Millennium on April 23.
Cro Cop put him under pressure with his boxing at numerous times, but Andy Hug stayed active with his kicks and did enough to take the unanimous decision.
In what would prove to be his final match, Andy Hug scored a quick knockout over Nobu Hayashi at K-1 Spirits 2000 on July 7,2000, sending his Japanese opponent to the canvas twice inside the first round.
Andy Hug was planning a retirement match and a move into acting in the near future at the time of his death.
Andy met his wife Ilona Hug was born on July 4,1964 and in summer 1987 while she was working as a fitness trainer and model and the couple married in Inwil on August 28,1993.
Andy Hug was in Switzerland in early August 2000 when he suffered more than thirty-nine attacks of high fever and heavy nosebleeding.
Andy Hug visited a hospital for medical tests and examination but doctors found no sign of illness.
The doctors' warnings proved true when, after starting chemotherapy, Andy Hug suffered hemorrhaging of the brain and inflammation of the lungs combined with extreme fever.
Andy Hug's body showed all the signs of acute leukemia: purple spots, digestion pipe bleeding, eyeball bleeding, urinary tract bleeding and genital bleeding.
Andy Hug was pronounced dead at 4:21 pm on 24 August 2000, two weeks short of his thirty-sixth birthday.
Andy Hug's ashes were deposited in the cemetery of the Hoshuin temple in Kyoto.