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.