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Akiyama vs. Holzken: ONE 165 Promises Unforgettable Showdown with Special-Rules Spectacle

ONE Championship has set the stage for a unique clash that transcends disciplines. The legendary Yoshihiro Akiyama is set to make a dazzling return against kickboxing icon Nieky Holzken at ONE 165, scheduled for Jan. 28 in Japan. However, this won't be just any fight – it's a special-rules showdown that promises to keep fans on the edge of their seats.

The bout will unfold in three captivating rounds, each governed by different combat styles. The fighters will engage in boxing for the first round, Muay Thai for the second, and finally, MMA for the third. This innovative approach adds an extra layer of excitement to an already anticipated matchup, making it a must-watch for fans worldwide.

Holzken, with an illustrious kickboxing career that spans K-1, GLORY, and ONE Championship, boasts an impressive record of 94-18, including a staggering 58 knockouts. The Dutch powerhouse brings a wealth of striking experience into the ring, particularly favoring him in the early rounds under the special-rules format.

On the other side of the ring is Akiyama, making his return after almost two years since his last knockout victory against Shinya Aoki at ONE: X in March 2022. Akiyama, with a diverse career in the UFC, DREAM, and K-1, signed with ONE Championship, where he holds a 2-1 record. Despite facing setbacks, including long layoffs, Akiyama's resilience and unique skill set make him a formidable opponent.

As the anticipation builds for ONE 165, fight fans can also look forward to other exciting matchups, including the return of UFC veteran Sage Northcutt facing Aoki in a lightweight bout, and grappling sensation Garry Tonon taking on ex-ONE champion Martin Nguyen. This event is shaping up to be a spectacle of epic proportions, reminding us that in the world of combat sports, innovation and excitement go hand in hand.


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