Rob "The Dutchman" Kaman is a Dutch retired 9 time kickboxing and Muay Thai world champion. He is often called "Mr. Low Kick" because of his feared low kicks which he used to set up his devastating offensive attacks.
In his early days he played football for AFC Ajax Amsterdam Youth Team. Rob was a good player, but never liked team sports and at the age of 16 he started training in the martial arts, first Pentjak Silat and later he started training Muay Thai and kickboxing at Mejiro Gym under Jan Plas when he was 19.
In 1980 Rob became an A-class fighter in the Netherlands. He won most of his fights by K.O. The turning point for him was his fight with Blinky Rodriquez, the cousin of Benny Urquidez. Rob knocked him out in the 2nd round with a low kick to the leg. That was his international breakthrough. From then on, Rob started fighting in Thailand.
His first fight in Thailand was against Dennoi, a local champion. Rob won by K.O. and was asked to fight Lakchart, a Thai champion, in Bangkok.
Many experts, UFC champions and martial art celebrities including Joe Rogan and Jean-Claude Van Damme consider Rob Kaman the greatest Muay Thai Kickboxing champion of all time.
Winning world title
On 23 September 1983 he fought John Moncayo for the world title WKA of kickboxing. Rob knocked him out in the 3rd round with a low kick and became the first European WKA world champion in kickboxing.
On 12 January 1984 he fought Payap Premchai, the champion of Thailand, in the Jaap Edenhal in Amsterdam and was declared the winner by unanimous decision.
In April 1984 he had a rematch with John Moncayo in Miami, Florida. This time he knocked Moncayo out with a punch in the 2nd round. At the end of that year he beat the great Thai fighter Samart Prasanmirt in Hong Kong as well as Jean Marc Tonus for the European title of full contact.
During the year 1985, he beat Larry McFadden in the 3rd round by a knockout and three months later he took his revenge on Lakchart. He knocked the Thai out in the 4th round.
After that, Rob fought a lot of different fighters in Amsterdam: Ernest Simmons (WKA rules), Ernesto Hoost (WKA rules), Payap (rematch on Muay Thai rules), Roger Hurd (WKA rules) and Sittisak (Muay Thai rules). He won them all and at the end of 1987 the Japanese asked him to come fight in Japan.
His first fight in Japan was against Lakchart. Rob knocked him out in the 1st round. From then on he fought many times in Japan. He fought against Kirkwood Walker, Hansu Premchai, Santiago Garza, Don Nakaya Nielsen.
On 9 April 1989 Rob fought in the Netherlands again. This time against Jan Wessels from Arnhem. Rob also organized that event and did not have the time to prepare properly for the fight. He lost the fight and a lot of people thought that his career was over. At the end of the year he came back and beat Wessels by knock out in the 2nd round for a WKA world title.
During 1990 Rob played in the movie "Bloodfist" with Don Wilson and Billy Blanks and fought three times against Changpuek Kiatsongrit from Thailand and Eddy Matthieu from France. During the summer he had to fight in Japan against Peter Smit. Smit was a newcomer and a WKA European champion. Rob became a father with the birth of his son Gaby just before the fight. Rob lost his world title.
Kaman came back again. He fought against the Japanese fighter Yoshinori Nishi in Japan and won by 1st round knock out. The promoters in the Netherlands matched him a super fight with the new upcoming fighter Ernesto Hoost. Before the fight Hoost was the favorite but Kaman managed to knock him out in the 5th round.
On 29 June 1991, Kaman fought against Luc Verheye in France for the world WKA title. Luc Verheye had beaten Peter Smit and was the new world champion. This didn't last long Kaman beat Luc Verheye and took his title back.
He fought in France against fighters like Rick Roufus, Mark Russell, Justin Ward, Zito Polyo etc. One of Rob's best fights was against Marek Piotrowski, whom he beat by K.O. in the 7th round.
On January 25, 1992, Kaman challenged his first professional MMA bout in RINGS against Nobuaki Kakuda. He won by TKO with knee shot to grounded opponent in 3rd round.
On 20 June, Rob fought "the fight of the fights" against Jean-Yves Thériault, the greatest full contact champion ever. Rob won the fight by TKO and became the new ISKA world champion. He was at the same time world champion in WKA kickboxing and world champion in Muay Thai.
On 26 November 1993 Rob fought after three years in the Netherlands, this time against another great Dutch champion Rick V.D. Vathorst. Kaman knocked him out in the 2nd round and showed the Dutch crowd that after all these years he was still the best.
At the end of that year Nikko Toshogu Press produced 8 videotapes on Muay Thai training with Rob Kaman and one videotape with highlights and knock outs of his career. Rob also played in two movies with Jean-Claude Van Damme, "Maximum Risk" and "Double Team" with Dennis Rodman and Mickey Rourke. After that he fought again in France, this time in Marseille, again against a newcomer from the Netherlands, Orlando Breinburg. He won by TKO in the 3rd round.
In 1995 he participated in the K-2 tournament in Paris, France. His first fight was against Lavelle Robinson and he won by KO. In his second fight he fought the Australian Tosca Petridis and was the winner again. In the finals after fought already two times that night he went against Jerome Turcan from France. Rob was full of injuries from his previous fights. During round 4 he was bleeding heavily but knocked Turcan out with two high kicks at the end of the round. After all his world titles, he also won the K-2 tournament in Paris, France.
After only a few fights in the later years, because of too many injuries and a new movie with Jean-Claude Van Damme (The Legionnaire), Rob decided to end his career, back where it all started, in the Netherlands. On 24 October 1999, he fought for the last time, against Alexey Ignashov, a 21-year-old amateur world champion in kickboxing. Rob won the fight by points, but after the fight he said that his opponent was the real winner and gave his trophy to Alexey Ignashov.
Rob Kaman, also trained UFC light heavyweight Brandon Vera and Jason Miller on kickboxing for MMA. And has trained many elite martial artists including Sam Marcellini who became his first certified instructor in the US.