Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre was in Las Vegas today at the behest of his equipment sponsor Hayabusa to mark the launch of their new kickboxing glove.
Hayabusa recently signed a long-term sponsorship deal with premier kickboxing league GLORY, which stages GLORY 23 LAS VEGAS this Friday night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Nieky Holzken and Raymond ‘Real Deal' Daniels form the main event as they fight for the vacant welterweight title. Holzken is also a Hayabusa-sponsored fighter and was present at today's launch, allowing for some interaction between him and St-Pierre.
First they both went through some rounds of padwork with Holzken's trainer Sjef Weber, then they did a quick round of light sparring. Afterwards he talked enthusiastically to Bloody Elbow about Holzken's skill level and said he enjoyed the experience of moving around with a "specialist".
"It's so different, just the feel of it. You see the power in the punch, the smoothness, the transition is just a different level of striking. These guys are specialists at what they do. It is a different sport to Mixed Martial Arts but they are the best at what they do," he said.
"You could not take a UFC guy and put him in the ring with them in a GLORY fight. Under the rules of kickboxing the guy would be destroyed. And the other way round is true also, but it is just amazing to see the level of striking. It is fun to watch and a really great experience for me to be able to work out with Nieky and his trainer."
Regarding this Friday's fight between Holzken and Daniels, St-Pierre was reluctant to pick a winner. Daniels shares a karate background with St-Pierre - albeit a different school, St-Pierre being Kyokoshin and Daniels being Kempo - but Holzken impressed the French-Canadian.
"It's going to be a good fight. I am a karate guy and Raymond is from a karate background, Nieky is amazing... may the best man win. I wish them the best, hopefully nobody gets hurt bad and it is just a great fight and they can demonstrate their skill. I will be tuned in to watch it, for sure," he said.