The violence in Holland’s organized-crime scene doesn’t stop. Gang-related shootings have been shaking up the country’s capital for the past several weeks. Now, another renowned figure from the world of kickboxing has fallen victim to a fatal shooting on Wednesday morning in a garage in Amsterdam’s Osdorp district: Golden Glory founder Ron Nyqvist.
Nyqvist has been a capable kickboxer in the old days and helped building the world famous Golden Glory gym in Breda, home of many kickboxing champions such as Semmy Schilt or Gokhan Saki, as well as MMA fighters like Marloes Coenen and formerly Alistair Overeem.
But the Germany-born Nyqvist has also been a member of the “Brabant Gang”, an infamous group of Dutch drug traffickers, and a convicted criminal who was just released from a 20-year prison sentence for double homicide of two gang members.
Nyqvist was found dead in a car park with a gun next to him on Wednesday morning. A woman was accompanying him, she is in deep shock and has been escorted to the hospital. According to the news in Holland, the police is investigating in every direction and won’t rule out a suicide.
The Dutch kickboxing scene has for years been very closely tied to organized crime. Gangland crimes and shootings often involve prominent heads from the combat-sports circuit, like MMA fighter Hans Nijman, who got killed in a drive-by shooting last November, or the drug-related 54-month conviction of Glory fighter Hesdy Gerges, also in November.
I recently talked to UFC middleweight Gegard Mousasi, who also trained at Golden Glory, about the situation in Holland. He said:
“It’s easier for fighters to get involved in crime because of their mentality and where they come from. […] It depends on the person. You can easier get in contact with someone who does some activities that are not allowed. […] Fighters are not the richest guys, and if someone comes and tells them they can make good money, then some of them will do it.”
The strong connection between combat sports and organized crime has led to a very critical approach to kickboxing by media and politicians lately. Yet, it is still uncertain if Nyqvist has really been the victim of a gang-related murder or committed suicide. We will have more on the situation as it develops.
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