Peter "The Dutch Lumberjack" Aerts (born October
25, 1970) is a professional Super heavyweight Dutch kickboxer and martial
artist. He is three time K-1 World Grand Prix and Muay Thai World Champion.
Aerts is best known for his powerful strikes and high kicks.
After playing football for seven years, in 1983 Peter Aerts
started to practice Tae-Kwon-Do. His interest in fight sports came from his
grandfather as well as an uncle who were active in that field. In 1984 he
picked up kickboxing and started training in "Judoka-Kickboxing" in
with Mikki Benazzous. After a year Aerts fought his first match, and soon one
victory succeeded the other. He won his first world championship title when he
Peter Aerts then switched to club "Champs" in Eindhoven, with Eddy
Smulders, where he became world champion for the second time. After that he
moved to the famous Chakuriki gym of Thom Harinck, where he had his greatest
successes. In 1994 Peter Aerts became the K-1 World Champion for the first
time, following up his success in 1995 and 1998. His win in 1998 was the
fastest tournament win in K-1 history, when he knocked out all of his opponents
in the very first round in a record time of 6:43 minutes, until August, 2009
where Daniel Ghita won the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 in Tokyo Final 16 Qualifying
GP in 5:15 minutes. In 2009 Semmy Schilt also surpassed Aerts fastest World
Grand Prix win after winning the 2009 World Grand Prix Final in 5:54 minutes.
He also competed in more K-1 World Grand Prix then any other K-1 fighter in
history. He currently has competed in 16 consecutive World Grand Prix from 1993
In 1997 He broke the work relationship wth Thom Hainrick. He
later moved to train with Andre Manaart, a former K-1 fighter himself.
Currently Aerts has his own Team Aerts, training out of Kops Gym in Amsterdam under Jan Plas
and Henry Hooft.
In December 2, 2006 Peter Aerts entered the K-1 World Grand
Prix 2006 as a reserve fighter, defeating his opponent Musashi by first round
knockout. After Remy Bonjasky was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to
an injury, Aerts met Glaube Feitosa in the semifinals, winning his fight by TKO
in the second round. His opponent in the finals was reigning World Champion
Semmy Schilt, Aerts lost the fight by unanimous decision.
In June 23, 2007 at the K-1 World GP 2007 in Amsterdam Aerts
faced Bob Sapp in a much-anticipated Superfight. Peter Aerts struck Sapp with
the left knee, Sapp fell down and the fight was over in 0'25" in a first
round. In June 2007, Aerts extended his contract with K-1 for another two
On September 29, 2007 Aerts met Ray Sefo at the K-1 World GP
2007 in Seoul Final 16 in Korea.
He won the fight at the end of the first round by TKO corner stoppage when Ray
Sefo did not answer the bell and qualified himself for 15th consecutive year to
K-1 World GP 2007 Final held in December 8, 2007 at the Yokohama Arena,
Japan. In quarterfinals, Aerts knocked out Junichi Sawayashiki from Japan in the
first round. In the semi finals, he defeated two time K-1 World Grand Prix
winner Remy Bonjasky by unanimous decision. He then moved on to face two time
defending champion Semmy Schilt in the finals. Aerts lost the bout by TKO in
the first round after suffering a knee injury.
Aerts entered the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 Final after
beating Schilt by majority decision where he was unexpectedly beaten in the
second round by Badr Hari.
At the start of 2009 Peter was back to training again with
Thom Harinck. Back with Harinck in his corner Aerts had two very impressive
fights, a extra round unanimous decision win to Errol Zimmerman and a 3rd round
KO win over Yosuke Nishijima. In both fights Aerts looked as though he would
easily capture the K-1 World GRand Prix Title for a fourth time in the awesome
shape he was in.
Aerts fought at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 Final 16 as a
huge favourite against MMA heavyweight Alistair Overeem. However in a huge
upset Overeem shocked the world by defeating Aerts by unanimous decision. Aerts
stated after the fight that after the first minute he had lost virtually all of
his power and felt no shame in his first Final 16 defeat. Aerts said he will
return to training as usual. After the Overeem fight Peter dropped more weight
under a diet that Harinck set for him, dropping to 103 kg as opposed to his
usual 109–112 kg. He was still picked as a reserve fighter where he beat Gokhan
Saki by Unanimous decision.