K-1 began in Japan, becoming the world standard for professional Kickboxing and the name, to this day, holds the most weight when it comes to Kickboxing. Of course, mismanagement and corruption led to the demise of FEG, who held the K-1 name at the time. Since then K-1 Global has taken over the K-1 name and have been working their way towards their own goals that exist outside of Japan. So consider the shock today when news comes out of Japan of a new promotion called K-1 World League using the K-1 logo and everything.
There was a press conference in Japan today to announce the formation of K-1 World League, which will be managed by Good Loser, the company that produces KRUSH events in Japan, and produced by M-1 Sports Media. The first event is set to take place on July 21st at Shinjuku FACE and will be an amateur tournament akin to K-1 Koshien, the finals being held on November 3rd at Yoyogi National Stadium along with professional fights from some of Japan's top fighters. Announced names are Yuta Kubo, Yoshihiro Sato, Yasuhiro Kido, Hirotaka Urabe, Koya Urabe, HIROYA, Takeru and others. Takayuki Kohiruimaki is also listed as one of the K-1 Gym's official trainers, as this whole thing is in association with the K-1 Gym.
K-1 Global will continue to run events outside of Japan and K-1 World League will serve as K-1's re-entry point into the Japanese market beginning this year.
Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.
His first novel, the Godslayer, is available now.