Some fighters sometimes find it very difficult to motivate
themselves before a fight but Ramon wanted to be the best. He just wanted to
win the fight, prove his ability to everyone, especially in Thailand, so
that’s how he motivated himself.
Ramon was a model professional when it came to preparing for a fight. He
watched videos of his opponents and when he had studied the videos, he
One important thing about Dekkers is that he uses the constant repetition of
the technique to develop his technique. Dekkers, being an astute student of
his craft, knew how to work not only by himself, but also with that ever
important training partner. If you see Ramon and Cor Hemmers training with
the Thai pads you will realize that they have created a science out of this
kind of training.
Another thing you see in Dekkers that is very unusual is that he can fight
like a devil, but at the same time he can always train in a very precise and
astute way. When he fights, he seems relaxed, but then suddenly he attacks
in a vicious manner that surprises all spectators. He is really a scientist
in this respect.
In Thailand all athletes are great kickers. Ramon’s kicking abilities are
exceptional but his favorite fighting techniques are his punching
techniques. One of his stronger weapons was his left hook. He was not just
some free-swinging wildman in the ring. He was a cold-blooded technician
with the intention to terminate his opponents.
Cor Hemmers, his trainer and step-father saw the enormous power that Dekkers
possessed from his early steps as a fighter. I mean this man was 63
kilograms and he fought and punched and kicked like a heavyweight. It was
really incredible the way he fought and the way he worked.
He was fighting just like a Thai, trapping the leg, delivering kicks to the
body, kicks to the leg. His kicks were like swinging a baseball bat. Dekkers
was renowned – not only for those devastating punches but also those hammers
below the waist, those shins of steel which he would occasionally set up
with the punches, and then blast the low kick occasionally. He was really
becoming feared for that power.
He would actually try to kick through his opponent. And,
the opponent’s legs definitely fell prey to that. He would crack guys open
time after time. This caused fighters to shiver when they saw the name Ramon
Dekkers – thinking that they had to go in the ring with this ‘demonstration
It had gotten to the point where Dekkers’ opponents were so afraid of him
that they fought merely to survive. But this presented a new problem for
Ramon. Rather than to try and shoot it out with his opponent in the middle
of the ring, he had to drive them to the corner and to finish them off with
his punches and kicks.
Ramon Dekkers, of course, was one of the most superbly prepared fighters
ever – a man who never let go. He was always very dedicated in training,
always strong, always powerful, always with lots of stamina. He needed that
because some of his opponents were so afraid of him that they ran away. They
tried to hide but they couldn’t hide. The ring was just too small and
Dekkers did exactly what he wanted – exactly what he set out to do – and
that was to create a knock out. Usually a devastating KO.
At some point Thai fighters were starting to fight differently. In the
beginning, it was only kicking and kneeing but then, they started being more
complete. More boxing, elbows, kicking – they were even trying to deliver
punches to the body, liver punches. They looked at a lot of videos of Ramon
to study his fights and they were trying to imitate him. Because the Thais
are very proud people and were also very proud of their Muay Thai, they
actually called in trainers to instruct the fighters who would fight Dekkers,
just to make sure the Thai fighter would win.
When Dekkers found out that they were bringing in trainers, this only
reaffirmed his own commitment to getting back into the gym, to hammering out
not only the tried and tested techniques that had gotten him to the top of
the world of kick-boxing and Muay Thai, but also to get through with some
furious new combinations under the tutelage of his trainer and mentor Cor
Hemmers. Dekkers was really determined – more than ever – to not only be at
the center of the stage, but also to be the stage itself.
Cor thinks the most important thing was that because they were so close, one
could make a move and the other would feel it. When they were working
together, whether with pads or with gloves, Cor says they were like a
well-oiled machine. They learned a lot from each other. And later on, when
Hemmers visited some camps in Thailand, he saw that they had started to
duplicate their system. He saw his bag combinations. He saw the things that
Ramon did. They started to go a little more to the boxing techniques because
in the beginning, the Thai were only kicking and kneeing. So it seems that
Ramon had a lot to do with the evolution of the style of the Muay Thai