It was increasingly clear that Nieky Holzken had decided to leave GLORY after his last fight with the organization. After being the face of the welterweight division in GLORY for years, Holzken found himself on the outs, with a new breed of welterweight running the division. When GLORY didn’t see the value in a big-money contract in Holzken after a series of losses, Holzken took to social media to vent his frustrations numerous times.
So it should come as no shock to anyone that Holzken is in the process of signing with another organization. While most kickboxing fans saw a future for Holzken in China, or perhaps under the Bellator banner, Holzken made an entirely different decision altogether, announcing that he was signing with ONE Championship. As a part of ONE’s 2018 strategy, they’ve been introducing their “Super Series” bouts in muay thai and kickboxing, signing a steady stream of talent along the way across both disciplines.
This past weekend ONE even held their first professional boxing match, a WBC championship bout featuring Srisaket.
According to Omrop Brabent, Holzken’s signing with ONE is imminent, with the only snag being waiting for GLORY’s contractually-obligated counter-offer, which he expects to turn down. He could be fighting in ONE as early as November, with the deal explained as a two-year, ten-fight deal, which is a contrast to what he claims was a three-fight a year contract from GLORY. Holzken and his team also had some interesting insight that he’s no longer a young fighter and needs to look towards his future, which ONE was able to discuss with him, offering him a post-retirement position with the company as well. We’ve seen ONE employ other fighters past their in-ring retirements, with Rich Franklin being the most visible thus far.
Of course, Holzken also took what he felt was the better money offer, as well. It’ll be interesting to see what a Nieky Holzken ONE Championship run looks like and this is a big win for ONE, who have mostly steered clear thus far from signing talents away from other big-name kickboxing and muay thai organizations since launching the Super Series. For fans of Holzken in the boxing ring, it looks like he’s moved on from that as well, with the article mentioning that it takes five boxing fights to make the same amount of money from a kickboxing fight, although, with ONE starting to introduce boxing, who knows.