After almost a year of speculation as to what will become of K-1, the picture is finally beginning to come into focus in many aspects. While the Kickboxing world is being divided and conquered by two factions; It's Showtime working with the new K-1 Global, and Golden Glory building their own Glory World Series, one will clearly come out on top if both sides do not work together. GLORY recently announced that 2012 would house six big events without any real set-in-stone dates, and as of today, K-1 has fired back and fired back big time.
If you are a fan of martial arts and kickboxing and you live in the United States, your day might be coming and very soon. The same can be said for fighters within the US who are sick of fighting for paltry sums of money in the regional muay thai scene, as part of K-1's press release today, two events within the United States were listed. Of the seven projected dates, two are within the United States. Early September is penciled in for the U.S. Qualifying Tournament, with the winner being placed within the World Grand Prix. The other event listed within the United States? None other than in December for the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals in New York City. If you've had behind-the-scenes information, there has been talk of K-1 in New York for a few years now, first in a partnership with HDnet, then possibly with a local promotion and now this.
We've reached out to some of our contacts within the U.S. to see if we can confirm the dates and venues and will report back when we have more information, but for now we can look at the rest of K-1's road map for 2012.
The first event is in Madrid, Spain on May 27th, and looks to be the opening of the K-1 MAX tournament (so says K-1's new website).
June - September will be the qualifying tournaments for Asia and Europe.
October will be the Final 16 in Asia.
November will be the K-1 WORLD MAX Finals with $300,000 up for grabs for the winner and $200,000 in other prizes for runners-up.
December will of course be the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals in New York, with $1,000,000 on the line for the winner and another $500,000 up for grabs for the runners-up.
Of course, this isn't the first time that we've seen promises about K-1, but this is at least a good, solid start.
Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.
His second novel, Terminus Cycle, launches on March 24th.