K-1 and Spanish event organizers, Street Culture, have reached an agreement to hold events in Spain and Portugal in 2013. Street Culture has been responsible for many events in Spain, including all three It's Showtime events there and the K-1 show in Madrid this year.
Two 70kg qualifying tournaments will be held in 2013, with one being in Spain and one being in Portugal. The winners of the tournaments will qualify for the K-1 MAX 2013 Final 16. Street Culture will organize the fight cards and events.
The tournaments will consist of Spanish and Portuguese fighters, to determine a representative for those countries in the Final 16. Super fights on the cards will feature international fighters.
If you didn't notice at the SuperKombat WGP 2012 Finals on Saturday, Eduard Irimia of SuperKombat, Mike Kim of K-1 and Ennio Falsoni of WAKO were all in attendance. They were all there to sign and announce a worldwide cooperation agreement between the three companies. Details of the agreement are outlined in the document below.
K-1 was at one time the undisputed king of the Kickboxing world, with the brand emerging from Japan and helping to bring the sport into the limelight. A sport which was at one time fractured and confusing due to the multitude of rule sets and championships all of a sudden brought structure and uniformity to the ring. Most Kickboxing events held globally still use “K-1 Rules,” even if they have no affiliation to K-1, and the reason is because K-1 made itself a household name. Sure, K-1 didn’t always do things from a pure sport perspective and should be considered mostly an entertainment company that ran sporting events, the formula worked and made them one of the most powerful brands in combat sports, ever.
The past few years have seen that brand slip from combat sports royalty into a mockery. Fighters were owed money, events became more and more sporadic and a once-reliable brand started to become a joke. So when EMCOM’s “Mike” Kim was awarded the company and made big promises, there was some optimism among the Kickboxing community of what could be. Part of the problem was that the once-strong brand was now known in many circles as a tainted one associated with screwing fighters and being bankrupt. Even if the K-1 brand was under new management and was treating fighters fairly, the lead-up to the last few K-1 events I’ve seen a lot of, “I thought they were dead” and “they don’t pay their fighters” talk. For K-1 to recover they would need to have an absolutely sterling record over the next few years, and sadly, things are looking a bit rough around the edges.
It isn’t treating fighters unfairly that is the problem, per se, as much as it is general lack of organization and composure. The build-up to the K-1 Los Angeles show was a case study of how to do a lot of things correctly while building upon a foundation of sand on the shore. Without a solid foundation, anything you build, no matter how well it is constructed, is bound to fail. Los Angeles is not a bad spot to promote in, but the arena selected was not exactly a prime location and was simply too large. I understand having big aspirations and wanting to put a best foot forward, but if you know you cannot fill an arena at least 75%, you quite simply do not book that arena as it will look awful on television.
Well no one really knows exactly when or where the K-1 WGP Final will be, but K-1 does have another event coming up on February 2 in Seoul, Korea and the news has been floating around for around a few weeks now, though with no "official" announcement on it from K-1.
The event is called K-1 Asia MAX 2013 and will feature a one night, eight man tournament at 70kg, with the winner qualifying for the next K-1 MAX Final 16. Two tournament participants have been confirmed, and they're Woo Young Choi and Seong Hyun Lee (Sun Hyun Lee as he's often referred to as). There will be a total of four Koreans in the tournament, with the other two Korean participants coming from two tryouts that are essentially qualifying tournaments that MKF held/will be holding on December 15 and 22 in Korea. The other four participants will come from around Asia, with China, Japan and Mongolia being mentioned.
Also on the card will be a heavyweight super fight and a women's super fight. The heavyweight fight sees K-1 veteran Yang Rae Yoo fighting a to be announced opponent, while the women's fight sees Ekaterina Vandaryeva fighting a to be announced Korean fighter.
The thing about this is that it will actually be two events in one day, with the K-1 card just being one of them. The events are being put on by Yang Myung Kyu, who did the K-1 KHAN events back in the day. The other event is KHAN vs. Wu Lin Feng. Wu Lin Feng is the biggest kickboxing promotion in China and K-1 will enter a partnership with Wu Lin Feng where two annual events are held, with this KHAN vs. Wu Lin Feng being the first one. The second one will be held in China. Among names are slated for this event are Chang Hyun Lee, and the card will feature eight Korea vs. China match-ups.
Full details are outlined with English subtitles in the video above.