|Heavyweight (Per 10/13)|
|1.||Semmy Schilt (?)|
|7.||Mirko Cro Cop|
|Light HW (per 10/13)|
|Middleweight (per 11/25)|
|Welterweight (per 10/13)|
|70kg (Per 11/25)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 10/6)|
Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima is not the only Japanese K-1 fighter to move into the world of professional wrestling while K-1 is on a bit of a break, as K-1 Heavyweight Champion Kyotaro has made his way into professional wrestling as well. Need proof? Here he is sporting a green mohawk hitting a flying missile dropkick.
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Remember that big fight to take place in Los Angeles between Buakaw Por. Pramuk and Dzabar Askerov? Well, it is happening in Italy now, next year, as a part of Yakkao Boxing's big event. Yakkao Boxing sponsors a lot of fighters and does great things, so catch this new promotional video for them.
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Let's face it, Koya Urabe was one of the favorites in the K-1 MAX Japan -63kg tournament, as he should have been. Even after having his leg dismantled in the first round, Urabe marched on through another fight and found himself in the finals. He put up on hell of a fight, the kind you do when in a big one-night tournament against Yuta Kubo. Tanikawa made mention that both of these men will make the WORLD stage, which is quite a turnaround from last year where Urabe won his qualifying bout, but was not selected because he was not "exciting enough."
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The new ProElite is beginning to turn its gears and is looking for an August or September launch to whatever their new vision is. ProElite is the company that was known in the past for its main subsidiary, EliteXC that ran live fights on CBS and Showtime Sports before ProElite filed for bankruptcy. The concept behind ProElite was confusing at best, as they seemed to simply be a public company (first off -- bad idea for a new company) that had capital behind it to go out and purchase smaller organizations to bring them all under one roof.
The main problem with ProElite was that EliteXC was always the only show in town and those in charge of ProElite were not in the mindset of slow, steady growth as much as making an immediate splash on the MMA world and competing with UFC right off the bat. Fans watched as EliteXC did their best to compete with UFC, while at the same time a San Jose kickboxing promotion was putting on their own series of MMA cards that had people talking.
Strikeforce took a much different approach to the Mixed Martial Arts world, as Scott Coker at the helm had a lot of experience with the martial arts world as the former head of K-1’s USA operations before Mike Kogan as well as promoting Strikeforce as a kickboxing promotion in the Northern California region. Coker knew what to expect in Northern California, knew what would bring fans to the arena and how to organize these events.
Strikeforce for a long time was the little engine that could, the promotion that was in the background; they did well but they never stepped on any toes or overreached their boundaries. Dana White even had a grudging respect for Coker and would never talk bad about him. The Strikeforce formula was unique for MMA; the undercards were entirely taken from the local scene, with local up-and-comers who would fight for cheap and even help with the event (ticket sales, set up/tear down of the ring, etc.). The main card was full of fighters who were a little bit more established names but could still not command a king’s ransom to be booked, guys like Joe Riggs, Bobby Southworth, Clay Guida, Tyson Griffin, etc. You might know a lot of these names from the UFC, but their UFC tenure was either over or had yet to begin.
Continue Reading to read about how they built on weak divisions and made stars.Add a comment
Watch the above video and note some of the key words that Tanikawa uses and that he does seem dead set that not only will K-1 continue on, but that K-1 will be fine. While in the past I've felt that those were empty words, I can confirm now that things are indeed looking up. The PUJI deal has actually yielded some capital for K-1 and there are some investors (or possibly even buyers) who are serious about K-1 continuing and becoming a worldwide force. The show in China that Tanikawa mentions is currently airmarked for October and does indeed seem like a reality as opposed to "Japanese Grandstanding" that we hear about.
LiverKick.com has been made aware of who some of the investors are, and confirmed through a number of sources the accuracy of the information, but will continue to keep it under wraps until the deals are finalized on all sides and the exchange of money and power have been made. What we can say is that the companies investing in K-1 are very serious about kickboxing and K-1 and have the money to make sure there are not as many hurdles. It also means that K-1's typical Japan-centric approach will be compromised as it is not a viable business model, nor is it one these new investors would support. K-1 putting on one show is a big deal, as will be paying fighters who are owed money. For all the talk of Japanese television deals, while those will be important for K-1, they will no longer be the driving force of revenue and motivation like they once were if these deals go according to plan.
K-1 is lucky that they made themselves the undeniable brand in kickboxing, mainly by establishing a set of rules that were universally adopted and by running worldwide tournaments on a yearly basis to determine who the best are. Many promotions are able to book some of the top talent from K-1, but it seems like no one can pull in all of the exact names (granted, some like It's Showtime have their own pool of talent and exclude some headscratchers of names like Teixeira and Jaideep) and pit them against each other successfully.
A K-1 looking to take a global scale seriously is a K-1 that will have multiple revenue streams and actually build up its name internationally, with a focus on Japan as a homebase but not its only base there is a greater chance for the company to succeed and prosper. Expect big things to come from K-1 if things go according to plan.Add a comment