After the runaway success that K-1 Japan has had, K-1 Global is looking to bring that level of excitement and interest to K-1 in Europe with their K-1 World Grand Prix Euro -95kg tournament. K-1's Ned Kuruc had discussed the idea of moving away from the eight-man tournaments in the past, but K-1 has done an about-face in seeing the high demand for these tournaments and the excitement that they can create.
The idea behind this tournament is to blend together some well-known -95kg fighters along with some lesser known, younger talents to create a new, thriving division. K-1 Japan has been focused on the smaller weights and K-1 Europe is going to focus on the heavier weights.
Of course, this is not without controversy. K-1 ran a World Grand Prix event in Croatia -- the one that Cro Cop won -- in cooperation with Cro Cop's former manager and Final Fight promoter Orsat Zovko. Orsat has spoken about the poor relationship with K-1 and how there were financial disagreements in the past, but now the claims have resurfaced, namely from the Zovko-affiliated FightSite, which has published a number of pieces now of fighters claiming to still be owed money from the 2013 event. This is not the first that we've heard of this, but it has been a while since this has been discussed. K-1 Global has not replied to the claims, but were aware of them.
Regardless of past, broken business relationships, there are high hopes for K-1's new start in Europe with the -95kg tournament. Well known fighters like Mladen Kujundzic, Fabio Kwasi, Emmanuel Payet and Igor Bugaenko are involved in the tournament alongside up-and-comers.
K-1 World Grand Prix Euro -95kg Tournament
Igor Bugaenko (Belarus) vs. Tomasz Sarara (Poland)
Atha Kasapis (Germany) vs. Aundre Groce (England)
Fabio Kwasi (Holland) vs. Mladen Kujundzic (Croatia)
Rade Opacic (Serbia) vs. Emmanuel Payet (France)
Vasil Ducar (Czech Republic) vs. Bahrudin Mahmic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
60kg Women - Marina Spasic (Serbia) vs. Merima Basic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
71kg Men - Marko Adamovic (Serbia) vs. Sayfullah Hambahadov (Russia)