If we didn't like kickboxing, LiverKick wouldn't exist, but in liking kickboxing one must also realize the many things that have held back or are holding back the sport. These problems have existed since the beginning and have really never been fixed, so as it is, kickboxing has floated around, trying to figure out its identity and where it actually stands in the grand scheme of things in the world of sports. Two main problems are that kickboxing hasn't been promoted and organized like a legitimate sport and that kickboxing has always lacked centralization at the top level. The UFC promoted MMA as a sport to a much higher degree than anyone in kickboxing has ever done and made attempts to actually get MMA recognized as a legitimate sport. Their goal was always to be the universally recognized number one organization with all the top fighters under one roof, and their model has stood the test of time and paid dividends for MMA as a whole in its growth as a sport. If kickboxing wants to go anywhere as a legitimate sport, it needs the UFC model.
Kickboxing, contrary to some belief, has never had a UFC-type organization. K-1 was never the UFC of kickboxing. One or two weight classes for the majority of its existence, frequent mismatches, freakshows, favoritism and more focus on the spectacle than the actual sport itself. K-1 promoted kickboxing more like pro wrestling as opposed to a legitimate sport. This isn't to say that the UFC doesn't do some of these things as well, but they're all done to a much lower degree than the old K-1. The UFC pushed to get MMA recognized as a sport and in doing so pushed their brand at the forefront at the same time, while MMA continued and continues to grow internationally.