For a long time, the field at 70kg in kickboxing was much of the same, with the usual crew of Masato, Andy Souwer, Buakaw and Albert Kraus and Mike Zambidis constantly being at or around the top. Then came along Artur Kyshenko and Yoshihiro Sato as two of the next ones to join the top of the division and finally, Giorgio Petrosyan, cementing himself as the number one fighter in a division where Masato was gone and Buakaw also, as he was fighting Muay Thai, not being invited to K-1.
Now we've got GLORY alongside K-1, and it's split the talent down the middle in the 70kg tournament. What this has also done is showcased some new blood in the 70kg division that we might not have otherwise been able to see compete on the big stage if it was just one tournament with 16 participants. GLORY and K-1 both picked up some fighters for the tournaments that weren't very well known, or unproven, and now everyone is wanting to see more of them.
Reese McCallister, a virtual unknown to most before Sunday, put on a great performance and now is right in the mix in the Final 8 of K-1's tournament. Shemsi Beqiri, although known, got another chance to prove himself on the world stage. Sanny Dahlbeck, a 67kg Muay Thai fighter showed he's also a good fighter under kickboxing rules and has huge potential, not only as a fighter but as a fan favorite with his charisma. Even Fabio Pinca, one of the top international Muay Thai fighters at 67kg, gave a very good showing against Giorgio Petrosyan in a competitive, tactical fight. These are just a select few.
At one point in time, it really did look like the usual guys at the top of the 70kg division fighting for K-1 would just keep at the top for a very long time without being contested by anyone else much. Of course, the talent was and is out there, it's just a matter of the right fighters getting the right opportunities to shine, much like what happened this past weekend at K-1 and GLORY.