Yoshihiro Akiyama returns for special-rules fight against kickboxing legend Nieky Holzken at ONE 165

Yoshihiro Akiyama looks to bring sexy back when he faces kickboxing legend Nieky Holzken in a special-rules fight at the upcoming ONE Championship card scheduled for Jan. 28 in Japan.

ONE announced the new matchup on Thursday with Akiyama and Holzken competing in boxing in the first round, Muay Thai in the second round and finally MMA in the third round. The fight takes place at a special 187.25 pound catchweight.

Based on those rules alone, Holzken seemingly holds a sizable advantage through the first two rounds. The Dutch fighter put together a massive career in kickboxing, competing in K-1, GLORY and now ONE Championship.

Overall, Holzken holds a remarkable 94-18 record (with one no-contest) including 58 knockouts.

Meanwhile, Akiyama competes for the first time in nearly two years after scoring a knockout of Shinya Aoki at ONE: X in March 2022.

Overall, Akiyama has gone 2-1 since signing with ONE Championship, his home following a long career in the UFC, DREAM and K-1. He endured several long layoffs in recent years, including a three-plus year absence between his final UFC fight and his 2019 debut in ONE, though he made an appearance on the popular Netflix show “Physical: 100.”

Following back-to-back wins, Akiyama took another hiatus before booking the special-rules fight with Holzken on Jan. 28.

The ONE 165 card also features the return of UFC veteran Sage Northcutt as he takes on Aoki in a lightweight matchup. Grappling star Garry Tonon also competes against ex-ONE champion Martin Nguyen.

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