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Sadaharu Tanikawa and FEG Talk of Withdrawal From K-1

  • Written by Dave Walsh

In a way, it feels like a victory, although a small victory at that, when FEG President Sadaharu Tanikawa finally broke his silence on what has been going on with FEG. FEG is broke and Tanikawa has formally announced that they no longer have control over K-1. If you have been privy to what has been happening behind the scenes, this is no giant surprise, but for Tanikawa to come out and yield like this is a pretty big deal.

Fighting Entertainment Group (FEG) took over K-1 when Kazuyoshi Ishii was forced to resign from K-1 due to a tax evasion scandal. The company was completely re-organized, with FEG as the parent company and K-1 becoming a brand, but to many on the outside it was seamless. Things continued on, K-1 shows kept going and it seemed like business as usual. The problems were that FEG and Tanikawa were still at the mercy of Kazuyoshi Ishii and money was being lost on a regular basis. Eventually, this began to come out to the public when fighters began speaking out, and it flowed like cheap wine at a party. Tanikawa and FEG did damage control, but never really faced the problems head-on, which only made things worse.

This, in turn, left the K-1 brand in a terrible place, with fighters owed incredible sums of money and K-1's former home in Japan no longer willing to accept it with open arms. In Japan, broadcast television is king, and do not expect to see K-1 on broadcast television again any time soon there. Much like PRIDE had to do, K-1 has to look elsewhere to survive, only for K-1, the new owners are not simply looking for another notch in their belt. Tanikawa wished the new K-1 owners well and said that he would continue to work towards a resolution of repayment, but it came across as hollow, as hollow as him announcing that he is already lining up investors for his new series of martial arts events.

In FEG's stead we are left with Ishii holding K-1 tournaments for high school students in Japan, Mr. Kim and EMCOM owning K-1 and working with It's Showtime to produce events and Golden Glory as the spurned lover running their own series of events after losing out on the K-1 brand in a bidding war with Mr. Kim that never quite turned into a bidding war like they imagined it would.

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