One of GLORY’s winningest champions is returning to the squared circle to reclaim what was once his. At GLORY 42 in Paris (June 10th), Nieky “The Natural” Holzken will be looking for revenge against current GLORY welterweight champion Cédric Doumbé.
Back in December, at one of the biggest nights in GLORY Kickboxing history, Doumbé shocked the world when he took the welterweight title from Holzken via unanimous decision. Now he looks to prove that it was no fluke and that the Doumbé era is upon us.
Holzken, long considered one of the sports’ premier fighters and pound-for-pound best, wants to show that his first loss in four years was just a blip on the radar.
The GLORY 42 main card also features a lightweight contender tournament to decide the next opponent for champion Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong.
In the SuperFight Series (UFC Fight Pass), Yoann Kongolo will face Antoine Pinto while Jimmy Vienot meets Casey Greene. More fights will be added over the coming days, but let’s focus our punching power on the main event of the evening.
GLORY 42 PREDICTIONS
Cédric Doumbé (66-4-1) vs. Nieky Holzken (90-12)
Since Doumbé snatched the title from Holzken at GLORY: Collision, he’s successfully defended the title against Yoann Kongolo in a rematch at GLORY 39 back in March. Holzken, however, has been waiting for his revenge and he will look to strike on a lovely spring day in Paris.
Leading up to their first matchup, Doumbé was a force to be reckoned with on social media, trash talking Holzken relentlessly. The old school Holzken found the trash disrespectful and refused to engage. But the poisonous rhetoric may have seeped beneath the skin of the 33-year-old.
Holzken is normally a very calculated fighter and extremely technical. Yet an emotional Holzken was anything but in the first matchup. Throughout the fight, the Dutchman couldn’t get anything going. He allowed Doumbé to dance around and throw nasty leg kicks, big uppercuts, and counter punches all night long. Although Holzken did find success with his jab, it was clear when the bell rang that the belt would be changing hands.
Six months later, the former champ has had time to game plan for what should be another five-round war. I expect to see a far more composed Holzken mix up his combinations, use his jab, and most of all, slow his opponent down with leg kicks and signature liver shots. I also expect him to try to have a faster start and not allow Doumbé to find distance and gain early momentum.
Doumbé can’t expect Holzken to give him the same looks as before. At the same time, he needs to continue to work with what got him here: speed and devasting combos all over the body. Will fighting in front of his friends and family be added pressure or will the Frenchman use it as extra gasoline to take his game to an even scarier level?
The 24-year-old champ has looked confident in the ring, and well he should be. He can throw crushing counter punches while moving backwards and puts together some nasty combinations while moving forwards. It’s Doumbé’s unpredictability and creativity that’s the real x-factor in this fight.
In what should be a great bout, I feel the younger, faster Doumbé will be able to squeak out another decision win. He went into the first fight a +285 underdog, and while the line will be much narrower this time around, there should still be some value on the champ.
Prediction: Cédric Doumbé (via decision)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.