If you are trying to break into an industry where there is one clear-cut king, it is tough. It can be a bit easier for an opportunist to break in while that king is down and trying to pull itself back up, but the knowledge comes with it that eventually there will be a sleeping giant to fend off. This is where Romanian businessman and kickboxing magnate Eduard Irimia of SuperKombat finds himself after rumors surfaced that K-1 would be making its return shortly. SuperKombat held a successful 2011 year organized a slew of events including multiple tournaments, culminating in a World Grand Prix of sorts featuring a lot of younger talent.
When asked about what he thought about the return of K-1, he did not seem all that concerned.
"I honestly do not believe that the returning product will be the same. They have saved a name, but the product itself is compromised. I think that the last final in 2010 only gathered a few thousand spectators, was far from the glory days. I believe more in projects that increase, such SuperKombat, Fight Code and even It's Showtime, which has made some notable events. Many businesses that were sold were not just because they had the same people back. I can say that I am glad that will have global competition and am even willing to cooperate if it is something official. Currently, however, have said that I did not see anything clearly."
While I agree that Irimia doesn't have much to worry about in Romania, I'm not quite sure that SuperKombat can be seen on the same level or in the same breath as K-1. The SuperKombat WGP last year featured some solid talent, but were a lot of prospects who aren't worldwide names yet. With time they could be big names, so it is a gamble for him which could pay off big time, but it will take time. For now, I want to see SuperKombat continue to grow and not worry about competing with K-1.