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GLORY 23's Nieky Holzken on Paul Daley, Raymond Daniels and Conor McGregor

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Nieky ‘The Natural' Holzken faces Raymond ‘Real Deal' Daniels in the headline fight of next week's GLORY 23 LAS VEGAS event. On the line is the World Welterweight Championship, vacated in June by ‘Bazooka' Joe Valtellini as he deals with a health issue. Holzken is also pitching for a spot on September's ‘Bellator: Dynamite' card opposite Paul ‘Semtex' Daley, who is already confirmed to appear.

Nieky Holzken challenges for the World Welterweight Championship at GLORY 23 on August 7
Nieky Holzken challenges for the World Welterweight Championship at GLORY 23 on August 7
GLORY / James Law

"Daley is on the Dynamite card and he doesn't have an opponent so I want that fight just to get on that card and stay busy. I didn't fight so much last year and I want to fight as often as I can this year. He's got a big name in the MMA world and I think that the fight would be interesting to people," Holzken tells Bloody Elbow.

"It would be a good fit to have a big MMA name against a big kickboxing name on the Dynamite show. And since I put it on Twitter it exploded, people are very interested in it."

Asked to assess what he thinks is most dangerous about Daley's game, Holzken says "Of course his punching power... I think that's the only thing which would be dangerous about him."

‘Bellator: Dynamite' takes place September 19 in San Jose, California. Before that, Holzken will rematch Daniels at GLORY 23 LAS VEGAS on Friday August 7. The two were finalists in the GLORY 19 VIRGINIA Welterweight Contender Tournament.

Holzken won by stopping Daniels in the third round after scoring multiple knockdowns and he thinks this rematch is likely to go the same way.

"What can he do different? His style is his style and I know how to beat it. He cannot have changed so much in the five months since we first fought. Maybe he can add some new things but basically he will be the same and my approach will also be the same," he says.

"Right after I won that fight he said he wanted a rematch, well now he has it. He said a rematch would be different because he would be fresh and he wouldn't have to fight a match earlier in the night before we would fight. Well, the same applies to me also. I will also be fresher than I was that night. So he's going to have a tough time I think."

As if Daley and Daniels weren't enough to be thinking about, Holzken was also the subject of some comments from K-1 WORLD MAX 2012 champion Murthel ‘The Predator' Groenhart in recent weeks. Groenhart has moved back to welterweight (170lbs/77kgs) from lightweight (155lbs/70kgs) and is chasing a rematch with Holzken.

Groenhart still bitterly disputes the decision loss he suffered to Holzken in 2010 and told Bloody Elbow that he felt there was a strong dislike between both sides which could be categorized as "personal."

"Murthel Groenhart? Is he still fighting?" jibes Holzken in response. "No, I heard some things about what he said but I don't think he is serious, I think it is just for show.

"The guys from that gym all have a big mouth. I don't know what their problem is. Maybe they practice that? I don't know. I don't like trash talkers at all. I called out Paul Daley last week but not in a trash-talk way, I only say that it would be a great fight between two guys with knockout power.

"Murthel was talking something about we hate each other and we don't like each other, that it's personal. What is he talking about? I don't hate him. He has a problem with the result in our first fight, he can go win a tournament then come to face me when I am champion and we will see what happens.

"But he doesn't have to talk like ‘I don't like him' and all that stuff because I don't know him. We fought each other but I don't know him on a personal level.

"I won that fight. It went to the extra round but I felt like I had already won after three rounds. Everybody else felt the same way except of course Groenhart's camp. But if he wants to do it again we can do it again. First I win this title and then he can win a tournament and challenge me, no problem."

Despite his self-professed dislike of trash-talkers, Holzken does confess to being a big fan of the UFC's current most consummate hype-man, Conor McGregor. While the Irish featherweight has been brutal in his disparaging of opponents, Holzken feels that his words are more than backed up by his skills.

"I like that guy very much, he is something special," he laughs. "He is very charismatic and he is a very good boxer. You can see in his movement in and out, the way he uses the uppercuts. I like fighters who can box and for me he has got the best boxing of anyone in the UFC. He's very interesting to watch."