The negotiations lasted more than 4.5 months, but now the time has finally come: Nieky Holzken (37) signs a new 2-year contract with ONE Championship. And that’s a relief, certainly also because of the conditions. “This is the best contract in my career, even better than the previous one,” Holzken told Eindhovens Dagblad.
Over the next 2 years, De Helmonder will fight 6 more matches for the Asian martial arts organization, which has grown into one of the largest in the world in 10 years. The contract also states that 1 of those 6 matches is a title fight: currently Regian Eersel (28) is still world title holder in the lightweight class.
‘Wanted to get as much out of it as possible’
Holzken is the number 1 challenger and 1 of the crowd pullers in kickboxing at ONE. In the last 3 years he fought 6 matches, of which he won 3 by knockout. That is why Holzken was able to negotiate a new contract with his manager, Vahid Abdi of Cantera Management: “I just wanted to get the most out of it, especially after those last 2 KOs. Of course it was frustrating at times, but we both wanted to each other”, says the Natural, who wants to become world champion one more time.
‘Dating their mother’
Because Holzken also knows: at 37 he no longer has eternal youth. Although age is ‘just a number’ according to him and trainer Sjef Weber. Still, normally this is the last contract, Holzken admits. “In 2 years I’ll be 39, I have to stop at some point. Soon I’ll be up against boys who are 20 years younger, then I could have dated their mother, so to speak,” says the Helmonder with a grin. Ultimately, the 7-time world champion wants to become a trainer and take over the gym from his father-in-law.