Nieky Holzken: “Raymond Daniels isn’t a really good boxer, but his kicks are incredible”.


Legendary trainer Mike Passenier gave you your nickname “The Natural”, how did he come up with this name?

Because he thought I was fighting very natural.

Imagine yourself standing in the K-1 World MAX Final few years ago. Against which legendary fighter would you’ve loved to fight and why?

Masato, he was an awesome fighter.

Do you have an idol in the fighting game, or in any other sport?

Mike Tyson and Ramon Dekkers.

holzken meet the kickboxer dekkers tyson

Ramon Dekkers and Mike Tyson.

What’s your favourite, or one of your favourite walk out songs?

My own song.

Was it hard for you to fight below your natural weight, like in the K-1 MAX period?

Yeah very hard, I had to cut 5 kilograms in 2 days back then…

The decision to fight on your natural weight in GLORY was a good one. Do you consider this point in your career, as your international break through?

Yeah that’s the best step I made in my career.

What are your hobbies besides kickboxing?

My kids, gaming and riding my motorcycle.


If you had to make your own training schedule, on which aspects of training do you prefer to focus? 

Technique, power, conditioning, sparring and of course taking my rest. I’m already doing this cycle two times a day.

Chad: Is the liver punch something you actively look to set up, or is your success with it strictly capitalizing on opportunities as they become available? I’ve always had great success with liver kicks, but do you have any advice for me, to make a good liver punch?

I try to distract my opponent with the right hand before I follow it up with a punch to the liver.

nieky holzken liver shot

Adam: Do you use, or have you ever used music to train rhythm?

No I’ve never used it for that specific reason.

Omar: What are your thoughts on how intense sparring should be, given the latest research on head trauma?

Depends on the guy you’re sparring with, but in here where always training hard and sparring hard.

You’ve been trained by the legend, Ramon Dekkers. What did he improve in your stand up fighting game, or on which parts did you work together?

He learned me to fight in southpaw stance, he improved my low kicks and he worked a lot on my boxing.

How do you stay motivated when you practice kickboxing every day?

I always think about the jobs I had to do in the past to make a living. Kickboxing is the best job you can have.


Adrian: Which fight would you consider as your hardest fight till so far?

I think my fight with Artur Kyshenko, because he stabbed me in the eye, not on purpose, but it bothered me the rest of the fight.

What’s your most beautiful knockout ever, against who and why?

My knockout against Youri Mes, because I knocked him down with a spinning kick and because it happened in the Amsterdam Arena with an attendance of 22.000 Dutch people.

For the knockout skip to 6:14.

What’s your favourite technique or combo during a fight?

My counter left hook and my livershot.

Adam: It might be easier to learn from losses for numerous reasons, but how, or what did you learn from all your wins?

I only learned from losses… The only thing I’ve learned from winning is that I always have to give my all, because I know my opponents train hard to beat me.

Omar: What are your thoughts about the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight?

It was a boring fight in my opinion but also a smart one from Floyd’s side.

GLORY World Series:

One of your first GLORY fights was against Karim Ghajji in Istanbul. If you look back the fight, you can conclude that this was one of the most difficult fights you’ve had in GLORY. How come?

It was a great fight against a strong southpaw fighting guy. Maybe I was a little distracted because I slipped in the first round and he kicked me right on the nose while I was down already. Luckily I recovered and did what I had to do after.

The first fight between you and Valtellini was mentioned as fight of the year on multiple fighting blogs. Why do you think people loved that fight so much?

Because the fight was action packed from round 1 till 3, plus it was also a very clean technical fight from both sides.

What do you think about Joseph Valtellini as a fighter?

Good fighter, sore loser.

Valtellini confirmed that he will be vacating the GLORY World Welterweight Championship Title with immediate effect. Would you’ve considered giving up your title, if you would’ve been diagnosed post-concussion syndrome, and what are your thoughts about this decision?

I would do the same, your health is the most important thing in life.

You where the champ already, but because of your shoulder injury, GLORY decided to give other people a shot at the title. At this point we’re just waiting for the title fight between you and Daniels to happen. Do you think he will come back smarter, more motivated and with a different game plan, after his knockout loss against you in Virginia, USA (2015)?

It would amaze me if he got so much better and smarter in 3 months.

What are your thoughts about Raymond Daniels?

I think he’s a little bit of a show off and not a really good boxer, but his kicks are incredible.


Ayden: Would you pursue a career in both, GLORY and Boxing (if you fought under a boxing promotion like Top Rank/Golden Boy) at the same time? Or would you make the full transition to boxing?

I would make the full transition to boxing.


Do you have a message for Kickboxingplanet?

Thanks for the interview!


Do you have a message for your fans?

Thanks for all your support through out the years!

Want to see more from Nieky?

Watch this highlight to see him shine between the ropes (start in from 2:03).