As part of an international partnership, mixfight.com and liverkick.com have teamed up for a series of interviews with top fighters. We have visited and interviewed GLORY's brand new Welterweight champion, Nieky Holzken. We have given the fans all over the world the opportunity to ask questions and now Nieky has answers for his fans around the world.
What is your favourite memory with or of Ramon Dekkers?
“My best memory of Ramon Dekkers is winning the K-1 MAX Qualifier in Sweden. We did it as a team. Ramon and me have a similar fighting style and I was very happy to be able to win the K-1 MAX with him in my corner. I miss my friend. Ramon established a foundation (“The Diamond Dekkers Foundation) in order to help orphanages in Pattaya, Thailand. This foundation awarded me the Diamond Fighter of the year Award in January this year. That was nice.“
If you could choose your opponent, who would it be and why?
“I never choose my opponents, I just let the organization choose fighters to fight me. If you ask me who I would like to fight I would have to say Kyshenko, but in the weightclass I am fighting in nowadays (77kg), otherwise I would have to cut weight too much. That wouldn’t be healthy and would have a bad influence on my performance.”
What was your game plan in Tokyo? Did you expect Valtellini to be as tough as he was even though he lacked experience? Would you be open to a rematch against Valtellini in the near future?
“My game plan in Tokyo was actually pretty simple; just do things other fighters don’t expect… And I have to say that worked very well.”
“Valtelini is a good kickboxer, but I have faced tougher opponents in my career. Of course I am open for a rematch, I will have GLORY decide for me. I just fight whoever they put in front of me. If you ask me if it was a lucky punch I have to say ‘no.' We have trained for this. In his fight with Karim Ghajji he tried to do the same and he dropped his left.”
Who in your opinion looks better.. Masato or you?
“Who looks better, me or Masato? What kind of question is that? (laughs). I don’t know and I really don’t care.”
How was it like to lose a 2nd time to the all time great Buakaw?
“My second fight against Buakaw sucked. I had trained so hard for this fight with my trainer Cor Hemmers and I were ready for it, everything went perfect… But on the day we left to Japan something happened in my private life which changed my whole mind-set. I couldn’t think clear anymore and did things I shouldn’t have done. I had to cut weight; he was just stronger than I and I was weak because of the loss of fluids. But I challenge him to fight me again, but this time on my weight.”
Where did you get you KO power from? Do you train for it specific?
“My KO power? I don’t know where it comes from, I guess it’s a matter of having it or you don’t. I don’t train for that specifically.”
Have you ever considered becoming a model?
“I never really considered being a model, although, I have been asked to do so and I have done a few things in the past.”
How far does he plan to go in boxing and why does he do both?
“Yeah I love boxing. I am preparing again and would love to participate in a boxing match anywhere this year. I have fought 4 pro fights and won them all by KO, so I guess that’s a good start (laughs).”
Have you ever considered MMA?
“I have considered MMA, but I don’t have time to train for that discipline. I am way too busy with (kick)boxing, I teach some classes and most importantly I have my family/children. So adding another discipline wouldn’t be a good idea. You can’t underestimate MMA as a sport, it would take a lot of training to reach the highest level.”
Do you think GLORY will organize in Holland again?
“I think GLORY will organize in Holland again. It would be ‘fair’ considering the fact that many of the top fighters have their roots in Holland. I don’t care who I would fight in Holland, anyone in my weight class they would put in front of me I would say.
What are your thoughts on Glory's growth/direction and what are your thoughts on some of the U.S prospects coming through?
"GLORY is performing very well for a young organization. I think that they are an organization with huge potential, especially with the Spike TV deal. I think the Americans will love this sport and I don’t think it will take long for GLORY to be recognized and appreciated by the American fight fans.”
You just signed a new contract with GLORY. Who does your management?
“You can see the fight scene evolving in a professional way. Nowadays it is unthinkable for a professional fighter to negotiate his own contract. I mean contracts are the size of a book and written in English, that’s pretty hard to understand. So I have contracted a Dutch lawyer, Roy van der Wal, who does my management. He has been in the fight scene for a long time, been a fighter himself and he knows the game. I do what I do best and he does what he does best. I am happy with this.”
How does he cope being the most dashingly handsome man signed to Glory !?
“I never heard anyone calling me ‘the most dashingly handsome man signed to GLORY,' but a ‘thank you’ goes out to the people who feel this way (laughs).”
You are number 1 in your weight division. How you feel about fights with Aussie Ouzgni again?
“A third fight with Aussie would be nice to settle the score. In my opinion it is now 1-1, because I feel I got screwed big time in the last fight when he received the 8-count… It must have been a 16-count (laughs), so yeah, I would love to fight him again.”
What rule set do you like better and why? Muay Thai or kickboxing?
“I prefer kickboxing, but I have participated in Muay Thai fights. I have fought Ky Hollenbeck (and won) under Full Muay Thai rules, for example.”
Are You open to possible superfight with Giorgio Petrosyan?
“Of course I would fight Giorgio Petrosyan if he decides to join my weight class. Not sure if he would feel the same.”
Who are you favourite heavyweights and light heavyweights?
“My favourite heavyweights and light heavyweights are without a doubt Gokhan Saki and Tyrone Spong. I think the final in Istanbul will be between Saki and Spong, I am looking forward to that fight.”
You are a well decorated champion. What had got you into tattoos and gauges so much? Do any of them have meanings that apply to your fighting career?
“I just love tattoos, they have a meaning to me. My children and wife are tattooed on my body and I have diamonds for Ramon Dekkers, stripes for my ko’s (45 at the moment).”
Your entering song is hardcore gabber track witch associate to many with bald headed kids on crystal math or just on lots of drugs banging there heads at front of a big sound system. Have you ever been one of those kids and if so how hard was it to balance that rave life style with training and competing?
“Yeah my entrance song is typically Dutch and has been specially made for me by DJ Zani and DJ Vince. I never was in the ‘gabber scene’ though”.
Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.
His second novel, Terminus Cycle, is available now via Kindle and Paperback.
Dave (a) LiverKick dot com | @dvewlshWebsite: www.dvewlsh.com