Dekkers was born in Breda, North Brabant (a province of the Netherlands). He began learning martial arts at age 12, studying Judo for a few months. He then started boxing for a year. After that, Dekkers started practicing Muay Thai under Cor Hemmers. He was awarded his first title at age 18, when he won the Dutch National Championship on 15 November 1987.

“He fought them all, in their homeland under their rules… and he beat them.” First foreign fighter to get the “Fighter of the year” award in Thailand.

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Dekkers got involved in the martial arts around 1986. He visited a gym in Breda where he first witnessed Thai boxing. He started training at the Breda gym. Dekkers’ future stepdad was the gym’s trainer who later became Dekkers’ coach. Dekkers trained for about 3 months – his mother dropped him off every day, brought him to the gym, and picked him up after training. Cor saw that Dekkers had the potential to be a good fighter. Dekkers was 16 years old. Hemmers had been building a team and had no real fights by that time. Before Dekkers’ first muay thai fight, Cor discussed it with Dekkers and his mother. During Dekkers’ training, Cor became more and more involved with his mother, and the two eventually married.

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On Sunday 18 March 2001, Dekkers fought his farewell fight against Marino Deflorin in Rotterdam. The Netherlands’ “Golden Glory” team took on the rest of the world. The fight ended in the 4th round with Dekkers knocking a game Deflorin out with a left hook. Throughout the bout, Dekkers controlled the fight, displaying the style and aggression.

[citation needed] After the fight, Dekkers joined the “Golden Glory” team members center stage for a finale, Rob Kaman came down the rampart, Golden Glory torch in hand, presenting it to Dekkers, who in turn passed it to each team member, as video clips of his victories were shown on the display screens.

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