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Nieky Holzken Prepared for GLORY 23 and Raymond Daniels

If you've watched kickboxing for any length of time, you've undoubtedly heard the name Nieky Holzken.  With in mind, it would be pretty condescending of me to tell you that he's fast, strong, extremely agile or that his boxing skills are absolutely sick.  Those in the know are also well aware that he's Glory's former welterweight champion (2013) and he's been back with a vengeance to claim the title again. Friday, August 8th, he'll have that opportunity as he is poised to face Raymond "The Human Highlight Reel" Daniels at Glory 23 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  What you may not know is that at 31 years of age Holzken sees the value of regaining and maintaining champion status, but also that there is life beyond the ring and that it's probably a good idea to have other plans for his future.   Holzken understands the value of family, friends and simply living.  Following open workouts I had an opportunity to speak to Holzken about life, his philosophy and the challenge he faces as he prepares to meet Raymond Daniels at Glory 23.  

With a record of 93-11 and 54 of his wins by KO, a dance with Holzken is by no means a walk in the park for anyone.  Holzken additionally see a few mire years ahead of him in the ring.  When it's all said and done Holzken hopes to open his own gym and continue to inspire participants in the sport as well as to be a positive role model for children. But again, that's later, possibly even five years down the line.  

Holzken 's match against Daniels came about in unexpected fashion following Valtellini's relinquishment of the  title. It had long been anticipated within the fight community that an eventual face off would occur between he and Valtellini and his dominance either would or would not be established based on the outcome of that bout.  Unforseen circumstances,  however, changed the hands of fate and brought him face to face with an opponent over whom he ha a recent win.  If you recall, Holzken faced Daniels in February of this year at Glory 19 in a bout that finished with a TO victory for him. Don't get it twisted though as Holzken has also KO'd Valtellini in the past.  By his own admission, things just got real as Friday night it's not just for another win on his record, it's for the thing he's worked his life for, a chance to be crowned champion albeit for a second time.  Once in his hands again, Holzken has every intention of riding it until the wheels fall off. He wants his belt back!   In preparation for this match-up, Holzken states he has continued to improve upon his boxing skills.   Since he last faced Daniels he has actually had three boxing matches all of which he won.  Holzken also reports improvement in his hand speed.  When asked what he though was his best skill, Holzken sees himself as a well rounded fighter while he views Daniels' best skills as kicking, jumping around and running. Holzken also isn't particularly impressed by Daniels' boxing skills.

If there was ever a fight that he has regrets about, Holzken cites his bout with Artur Kyshenko in, which suffered a decision loss following an accidental eye poke that left him unable to see clearly for the majority of the match.  

No matter the outcome of Friday's match, Holzken is definitely excited to be fighting, for the opportunity to have his family in Las Vegas to support him, for the support of his fans and definitely for the welterweight championship belt to be within his grasp. When asked what he's see for Friday, he simply stated, "action!" He feels that he has trained hard, he's ready and that his time has come again.   


GLORY and Hayabusa Unveil New Gloves at GLORY 23 Open Workout

Hayabusa has officially become the glove brand for Glory kickboxing. Prior to open workouts on Wednesday August 5th, an impressive demonstration of the high tech gear took place at Drysdale BJJ in Las Vegas. On deck for this demonstration was Glory welterweight conteder Nieky Holzken and former UFC Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. For those who might be wondering if GSP still has it, have no doubt he does. Both Georges and Nieky Holzken made Hayabusa's debut with Glory and open workout everything a fan would like to have seen. Each man alternately went four rounds displaying brutal kicks, knees and punches. Their finale was a round of light sparring between the two because, if you haven't heard, Holzken is set to take on Raymond Daniels Friday night at Glory 23 for the welterweight championship. So, the two took it easy on each other to prevent any injury.

For those who've never heard of Hayabusa, the company has been around several years offering participants in combat sports a host of products including clothing and equipment designed for maximum safety and comfort. In the industry, Hayabusa has developed a reputation for product superiority and definitely lives up to its name. Per their website, "The "spirit of the fighter" philosophy of honor, respect and tradition influences the design and construction of all Hayabusa products." On Friday, August, 7, 2005, the legion of combat sport fans around the world will be able to see whether the product can outlast the likes of Holzken, Daniels, Sam, Vigney and many others as they face off in the ring at Glory 23.

Following the product/skill demonstration of St. Pierre and Holzken, Daniel Sam and Xavier Vigney, the co-main event of Glory 23, gave the press and fans a taste of what they can expect to see. Daniel "The Warrior" Sam was first to hit the mats during open workout. As usual, the never nervous and massively built Sam put on a display of power that was definitely meant to convey to the crowd at Drysdale BJJ that he is ready to take on the up and coming Vigney who as of late has devastated his opponents and endeared himself to fans. Xavier "X-man" Vigney provided the afternoon's finale demonstrating the agility, strength and power that has made him a winner in several sports. As is the case with any fight, either opponent can potentially be the last man standing either through skill, luck or a combination of the two. The displays by Holzken, Sam and Vigney at open workouts, at the very least, were an enhancement of the storm to come at the Hard Rock Casino on Friday night. 


Check Out Fighting For Glory: The Joseph Valtellini Story

When reflecting on the last few years in kickboxing it is hard to ignore that one of the best up-and-comers was hands down Joseph Valtellini. He took the kickboxing world by storm by competing against the best of the best in GLORY's Welterweight division. He rose to the top, winning the GLORY Welterweight Championship.

This new documentary follows Valtellini's fighting career and his life in and outside of the ring. It's great insight into the life and times of a champion and a must watch for fans. 


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