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ONE Championship video: Kickboxing legend Andy Souwer announces retirement

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Andy Souwer is putting his gloves to rest.

The Dutch kickboxing legend announced his retirement Friday at ONE Championship: First Strike in Kallang, Singapore, following a loss to Marat Grigorian. Souwer, 38, has been competing professionally since 1998.

In his final bout, Souwer lost by TKO in the second round after a leg injury left him unable to continue. He then made it official that his storied career was over.

Watch Souwer’s retirement speech above.

“I told you something about my story, 24 years already as a professional, wow,” Souwer said. “Twenty-four years as a professional. All my life I fought a lot, but this is pretty difficult. Especially that I know my wife and my kids and my family are watching. And I have a loss again. In the last couple of years it was tough, it was a bumpy ride in private, also in the sport, in the martial arts world.

“Thank you to martial arts I stood up and it helped me a lot through my life. It brought me a lot of fortune, not in the way of money, but also a lot of dedication, a lot of spiritual respect, and being a good human being. That’s what my trainers brought to me and I want to thank everybody. It’s too short, it’s too emotional right now to thank everybody, but what is really important now is that the future looks bright with Marat in the top four. There’s a lot of great fighters, almost all they are former opponents. I think it’s time to say goodbye guys.”

Over the course of his career, Souwer emerged as one of the faces of Dutch MMA, making it to four K-1 World MAX tournament finals and winning in 2005 and 2007. He holds notable wins over Buakaw, countrymen Albert Kraus and Nieky Holzken, Yodsanklai, and Masato among many others.

Watch a clip from Souwer vs. Grigorian below: