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ONE 165: Yoshihiro Akiyama Faces First-Round TKO Defeat in Thrilling Mixed-Rules Bout Against Nieky Holzken


Holzken defeated Akiyama at ONE 165
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Nieky Holzken at ONE 165

Yoshihiro Akiyama, a longtime fan favorite and MMA legend, experienced a challenging return to the ring on Sunday, meeting former Glory Kickboxing champion Nieky Holzken in a dynamic mixed-rules bout at ONE 165 in Tokyo. The bout, featuring a 187.25-pound catchweight, showcased a blend of boxing, muay Thai, and MMA.


In a riveting clash, Akiyama and Holzken engaged in a three-round battle that alternated between the different disciplines. The official stoppage arrived swiftly at the 1:40 mark of Round 1, signaling a first-round TKO victory for Holzken. The defeat marked a notable moment in Akiyama's storied career.


For fans who missed the action, a video capturing the intense moments leading to Akiyama's TKO defeat is available below.


Akiyama, now 48, has been selectively participating in combat sports during the later stages of his fighting career. Before his appearance at ONE 165, he secured a victory against another Japanese legend, Shinya Aoki, in an MMA bout in March 2022.


"Sexyama," as he is affectionately known, gained fame not only in Asia but also in America during the early 2010s while fighting under the UFC banner. His thrilling performances against renowned fighters like Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort left a lasting impact on the MMA community.


As Akiyama navigates the challenges of competing in his late forties, his return to the ring at ONE 165 showcased the unpredictable nature of mixed-rules bouts and the resilience of these seasoned fighters.

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