K-1 just held a press conference in Japan with Masato and Mr. Kim on hand. Some participants in the Final 16 were revealed, including some names that we previously did not know. Also, plans about expanding weight classes next year were revealed, with a total of nine weight classes spanning from 55.2kg to +93kg. Here are some news and notes from the press conference:
- Raul Catinas, Hesdy Gerges, Pavel Zhuravlev, Ben Edwards, Arnold Oborotov, Badr Hari, Mirko Cro Cop, Daniel Ghita, Paul Slowinski, Zabit Samedov, Sergei Lascenko, Makoto Uehara, Hiromi Amada will be on the October 14 Final 16 event. Not really clear who's in the Final 16 tournament (They might all be.) but it was said that there will be two more fighters from other countries as well as fighters that will be determined after the result of the September 8 US Grand Prix at heavyweight. Note that Catalin Morosanu, Benny Adegbuyi, Ismael Londt, Dzevad Poturak, Saulo Calavari and Rico Verhoeven have all said they're fighting at this event.
- Mr. Kim says that he heard that Badr Hari's current legal problems won't be a problem in regards to him participating in this event. However, I think there's no chance at all that Badr will be fighting on this event, let alone any time soon.
- K-1 will be expanding their weight classes next year, with the overall divisions looking like this: 55.2, 59.0, 63,5, 66.7, 70, 77, 84, -93, +93 kg. These exact weights are still tentative. Masato showed a lot of interest in tournaments and Mr. Kim founded rankings.
- Due to what happened in the past with FEG, Mr. Ishii, etc. it will be very hard to get on TV in Japan. They are figuring out how to work around not being able to get on TV in Japan.