Holzken Vs. Sexyama Super-Fight, Two Kickboxing Battles Added To Stacked ONE 165: Superlek Vs. Takeru Card
A special rules super-fight and two epic kickboxing battles have been added to ONE 165: Superlek vs. Takeru on Sunday, January 28.
The blockbuster card – which emanates from the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan – will now feature an innovative three-round showdown between multiple-time Kickboxing World Champion Nieky “The Natural” Holzken and MMA legend Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama.
In addition, pound-for-pound kickboxing greats Marat Grigorian and Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong will author the next chapter of their storied rivalry in a catchweight affair, and Serbian phenom Rade Opacic will throw down with Iranian behemoth Iraj Azizpour in heavyweight action.
Both Holzken and Akiyama are considered icons in their respective sports.
“The Natural” made his name in the striking arts, having won swathes of gold in Muay Thai, kickboxing, and boxing. Meanwhile, Akiyama was a judo gold medalist who brilliantly trained across several martial arts disciplines and later applied those skills to MMA to become a K-1 HERO’s Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament Champion.
Now, the duo will meet in the Japanese capital for a special rules super-fight, and each competitor will don the 4-ounce gloves. The first round will be contested under boxing rules, the second frame will be contested under Muay Thai rules, and the third and final stanza will be contested under MMA rules.
Akiyama has scored knockout victories in the all-encompassing sport, including his last two ONE Championship bouts, but the Japanese-Korean legend’s resilience will be put to the test against a feared striker like Holzken. However, if he can see out the early rounds, “Sexyama” has a chance to bring the Dutchman into his world.
In kickboxing, one of the greatest feuds in modern history will be reignited when Grigorian and Sitthichai meet in the ring for the sixth time.
Though “Killer Kid” is ahead 4-1 in their series, all of their bouts were exciting, hard-fought clashes. However, the Armenian-Belgian striker had the last laugh, as he finally defeated his Thai adversary in May 2019 for the Glory Lightweight World Title.
Neither man has reached their goals since entering the world’s largest martial arts organization, and this could be their last throw of the dice if they want to make a run at the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Championship.
Finally, Opacic and Azizpour will be looking to establish themselves as one of the leading men of the heavyweight kickboxing division.
Opacic has emerged as a rising star, going 6-1 in ONE with five knockout victories. Most recently, he earned some redemption for his lone defeat in the world’s largest martial arts organization, beating Guto Inocente in June 2023.
As for Azizpour, he most recently fell to longtime foe Roman Kryklia in the ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Championship Final.
But with a previous win over the Ukrainian tower and a 3-1 promotional record, victory over the Serbian phenom could lead to a fourth encounter with Kryklia and help turn that into kickboxing’s next great rivalry.
Stay tuned to onefc.com for more news about ONE 165: Superlek vs. Takeru.