On the 24th of August 2000, Andy died unexpectedly as a result of leukaemia. This tragic misfortune came so quickly that it left a lot of questions unanswered for those people who loved him and it was correspondingly difficult for them to accept this fate.
This unforeseen event shook everyone. For the fighters too, it cast a dark shadow over the year. The fans saw in him the embodiment of martial arts ideals. Andy's demands on his style of combat represented a striving for perfection. He fought for that which was apparently unachievable and was stimulated more than ever by obstacles and difficulties. Fighting was his life – career, art and philosophy in one. Thousands of fans paid their last respects to him at his funeral. With his passing, a great martial arts exponent and a great man had been lost.
It is already very difficult to find more and more fighters who can keep up with this weight class. However, Andy was more than just a successful competitor. His Japanese fans had respected him and recognized him as an ambassador for their own culture.