Simon Rutz promised a statement on the K-1 situation today, and he has delivered. There is so much in here that has been floating around for quite a while now that I don't know where to begin. LiverKick.com had heard from multiple sources that Bas Boon and a group of American investors had planned to purchase K-1. This initially started a few months ago when Fight Game, a company owned in part by Bas Boon and Frederico Lapenda had acquired certain rights to footage and began removing K-1 fights from YouTube under infringement to "Fight Game." This was the first clue that something was going down and backed up some of the rumors of K-1 being purchased.
Then nothing happened. K-1 went nowhere. There was talk of Barbizon, a real estate company acquiring certain rights to K-1's brands, and that this was possibly a part of the sale. Then there was talks of another company having possibly purchased K-1, while the talks of Golden Glory acquiring K-1 refused to die down. All of a sudden there were people who were dead set that one group had purchased K-1 or that the other group had, yet nothing was happening, there was no movement and FEG finally decided to run events under the K-1 name themselves. It turns out that K-1's founder Kazuyoshi Ishii had not signed away on his baby, his creation that had helped shape the world of kickboxing, that he was what was holding back the sale, claims Rutz.
With all of this in mind, according to Rutz there were three companies in contention and none of them have the required signature to take over the company. Even if they were to acquire K-1 today, there is not enough time to organize a K-1 event on October 29th. While nothing has happene yet, Rutz still believes that one of the potential investors will take control over K-1 by 2012 and organize K-1 events. Rutz has also promised It's Showtime will support whomever takes over the organization and believes that a united front of It's Showtime and Golden Glory participating in K-1 is good for the sport. Read after the break for the entire statement from Mr. Rutz. [source]
October 17, 2011 -
Because there is no information regarding the new start of K-1 coming from Japan, I will clarify the situation for everyone.
FEG, the parent company of the former K-1 brand, is technically bankrupt. The name K-1 lays now at the Japanese company Barbizon. There are 2 serious parties now, which try to pull the K-1 brand name towards themselves and place this in a new company.
The first one to find an investor is FEG’s president, Mr. Tanikawa. He has found a Korean investor who has big plans with the K-1 label. This investor claims to have a verbal agreement with Mr. Ishii and Barbizon regarding the takeover of the K-1 label. Details were already discussed and agreed upon, but the only missing thing is the necessary signature of Mr. Ishii.
The second one to find a potential investor is Bas Boon. He has found an American company which also has big opportunities to bring the K-1 brand to high levels. However, also this company needs the signature of Mr. Ishii.
In the meanwhile, even a third potential investor has reported itself to take over the K-1 label, but this investor has presented itself only a couple of days ago.
All three companies have big plans to bring the K-1 label back to the place where it belongs and therefore make sure that the brand of K-1 has a healthy future.
All investors understand that a good cooperation with IT’S SHOWTIME is essential to prevent future conflicts of interest and to make sure that in the future all world elite fighters will participate to the tournaments; that means the fighters of both IT’S SHOWTIME as the ones of Golden Glory. We from IT’S SHOWTIME support the plans to make the K-1 label a strong brand again, because this is in the best interest of the sport, the fighters and the millions of fans around the world.
This year there will be no K-1 Final Elimination and K-1 World Grand Prix Final for the following reasons:
- It’s currently unknown which investor gets Mr. Ishii’s signature
- There’s not enough time left to organize such a big event
- The visas for the fighters to travel to China haven’t been arranged and these are essential to be able to fight there
The decision to not rush into crazy things is a wise one, because severe mistakes that could cause more unnecessary damage to the K-1 label are being prevented.
From next year there will be a new and healthy company that will work on the worldwide brand of K-1.
For the fighters who were already preparing to fight on October 29 in China this will be a hard pill to swallow, but on the other hand, these developments offer enough perspective to positively look ahead to the future.
I hope I have answered the many questions and to have clarified these matters.