The latest instalment of the K-1 phoenix from the ashes!
Having resurrected as a brand under the “K-1 Rising” banner, we were treated to what amounted to “It’s Showtime: K-1 Edition”, complete with Vinny Shoreman on commentary, a bunch of predominantly Showtime fighters, and It’s Showtime style presentation and production. In short, in that Madrid show, very little of actual K-1 remained.
Then some big signings, such as Andy Howson from the Muay Thai world (one of England’s most exciting fighters of the last twenty years, and a bantamweight world champion) placated some, as did the announcement of forthcoming shows in Los Angeles and New York City.
Then rumours of financial peril surfaced, and Glory World Series wrapped things up in Europe by buying the It’s Showtime brand, who alleged that K-1 Rising did not pay them monies agreed upon in a co-promotion deal.
THEN, Glory announced a huge Grand Prix style tournament in Japan, who we reported as featuring the likes of Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky, Semmy Schilt, Jerome LeBanner and Gokhan Saki.
And now, K-1 Rising – who still bear the K-1 name, mind, that symbolises the entire sport of ”kickboxing” – have signed a big television deal in America with Spike TV.
Who knows. Time will tell on this saga. But the nostalgic in me hopes that the new K-1 comes good, while paying homage and being comparable to the old.