Peter Aerts (Nederland)
Martial Arts Legend
Peter Aerts (born October 25, 1970) is a Dutch semi-retired Super heavyweight kickboxer. Known for his devastating high kicks, which earned him the nickname "The Dutch Lumberjack", he is widely considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight kickboxers of all time.
Born in Eindhoven, Netherlands, Aerts began training in Muay Thai at the age of fourteen. He won his first world title when he was nineteen years old in 1990, taking the International Kick Boxing Federation's Heavyweight Championship. He would also add the Dutch heavyweight title and the World Muay Thai Association's heavyweight title to his mantelpiece before going on to compete in Japan. He competed in every K-1 World Grand Prix except one, (2009).
A three-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, he debuted at the inaugural K-1 World GP in 1993 where he was eliminated by fellow K-1 legend Ernesto Hoost. He won his first Grand Prix in 1994 by knocking out Rob van Esdonk and Patrick Smith in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively, before taking a unanimous decision over Masaaki Satake in the finals. However, he was stopped on more than one occasion by Mike Bernardo, being memorably knocked out of the 1996 K-1 World GP at the quarter-finals, as part of his series of wins over Aerts. Aerts' career was put on hold in 2001 when he suffered a devastating knockout blow at the hands of Seán Ryan in the final of the WOMAA world championships, which left him debating whether to ever return to martial arts again.
Aerts also won the GP the following year when he beat Toshiyuki Atokawa, Ernesto Hoost and then stopped Jérôme Le Banner in the finals. He would not win the tournament again until 1998 when he stopped all three of his opponents in front of 63,800 spectators at the Tokyo Dome. In what is considered to be one of the best Grands Prix ever, and the pinnacle of Aerts' career, he stopped Masaaki Satake with a knee strike in the quarters, forced the referee to stop his semi-final match with long-time rival Mike Bernardo and knocked out Andy Hug with one of his famous high kicks in the final. He won this tournament in six minutes and forty-three seconds, which was the quickest K-1 GP win ever at the time. This record stood until 2009 when it was beaten by rival Semmy Schilt.
Although 1998 was his last Grand Prix win, Aerts continued to compete and reached the final a further three times (in 2006, 2007 and 2010).
International Kick Boxing Federation
IKBF World Heavyweight Championship (1990)
IKBF World Heavyweight Championship (1992)
1994 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion
1995 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion
1997 K-1 World Grand Prix 3rd place
1998 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion
2001 K-1 World Grand Prix in Las Vegas runner up
2003 K-1 World Grand Prix 3rd place
2006 K-1 World Grand Prix runner up
2007 K-1 World Grand Prix runner up
2010 K-1 World Grand Prix runner up
Night of the Stars
1994 The Night of the Stars tournament champion
World Muay Thai Association
WMTA World Heavyweight Muay Thai Championship (1991)
WMTA World Heavyweight Muay Thai Championship (1992)
WMTA World Heavyweight Muay Thai Championship (1993)
WMTA World Heavyweight Muay Thai Championship (1994)
WMTA World Super Heavyweight Muay Thai Championship (1995)
WMTA World Super Heavyweight Muay Thai Championship (1997)