Today’s announcement from It’s Showtime about K-1 contracting some of their top fighters confirms months upon months of rumors and discussion about what would happen with K-1. There has been a behind-the-scenes war of sorts between two factions; Golden Glory and It’s Showtime. Without a doubt both factions are where the power lies within the Kickboxing world right now, with top names working on both sides and there being some crossover when at all possible.
A good example of crossover would be Robin van Roosmalen, the It’s Showtime Fast and Furious 70kg MAX 2011 Champion. In a world without K-1, the Fast and Furious tournament was without a shadow of the doubt the biggest tournament for 70kg fighters. Van Roosmalen worked his way through the most prestigious tournament possible while representing Golden Glory. On top of that, Errol Zimmerman and Gokhan Saki appeared on It’s Showtime’s latest card, with the rumor being that both men worked out their own deals in the fall to participate on the card.
Both factions have the very best talent in the top weight divisions in the world, making cards featuring both fight camps imperative to see the best competition and best fights in the world. When talks surfaced of both sides looking to become closer to the troubled K-1 over the past six months or so, it was clear that whomever won the race to latch onto K-1 would leave the other one in a predicament. It turns out that Golden Glory lost their bid for K-1, but with the help of investor and partner Total Sports Asia, have been assembling three huge tournaments at Heavyweight, 85kg and 70kg, with a total of $1 million as a prize.
This announcement of K-1 working with It’s Showtime to help acquire talent for K-1 events comes and it appears that the rumors of It’s Showtime working with Mr. Kim to help rebuild K-1 seem to be true. That comes along with Golden Glory talking about their extreme displeasure with Mr. Kim, who bought K-1 out from under their noses, which leads the reality to Golden Glory probably not looking to work with Mr. Kim any time soon.
The reality of these announcements is that unless both sides can work together, a fractured Kickboxing scene is looking to come to fruition within short order. For the Glory World Series tournaments, it could mean that Daniel Ghita, Hesdy Gerges, Tyrone Spong, Melvin Manhoef, Sahak Paparyan, Andy Souwer and many more might be off-limits. For K-1, it could means that in the World Grand Prix and World MAX Tournament we could be looking at tournaments that do not include Semmy Schilt, Errol Zimmerman, Gokhan Saki, Sergei Kharitonov, Mark Miller, Robin van Roosmalen, Nieky Holzken and others.
The other reality is, for fighters who have fallen out with It’s Showtime, it could mean a hard time working with K-1. The big name that I am thinking about here is Giorgio Petrosyan, who recently broke away from It’s Showtime over monetary disputes. We do know that K-1 has been in talks with fighters outside of It’s Showtime’s management, and for now we can only speculate and hope that K-1 is able to bring in the other big names in the Kickboxing world and is willing to come to an agreement with Golden Glory, and vice versa, for the Glory World Series.
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 second novel, Terminus Cycle, launches on March 24th.