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K-1 Press Conference News/Note: Final 16 Participants, Weight Class Expansion For 2013

K-1 just held a press conference in Japan with Masato and Mr. Kim on hand. Some participants in the Final 16 were revealed, including some names that we previously did not know. Also, plans about expanding weight classes next year were revealed, with a total of nine weight classes spanning from 55.2kg to +93kg. Here are some news and notes from the press conference:

- Raul Catinas, Hesdy Gerges, Pavel Zhuravlev, Ben Edwards, Arnold Oborotov, Badr Hari, Mirko Cro Cop, Daniel Ghita, Paul Slowinski, Zabit Samedov, Sergei Lascenko, Makoto Uehara, Hiromi Amada will be on the October 14 Final 16 event. Not really clear who's in the Final 16 tournament (They might all be.) but it was said that there will be two more fighters from other countries as well as fighters that will be determined after the result of the September 8 US Grand Prix at heavyweight. Note that Catalin Morosanu, Benny Adegbuyi, Ismael Londt, Dzevad Poturak, Saulo Calavari and Rico Verhoeven have all said they're fighting at this event.

- Mr. Kim says that he heard that Badr Hari's current legal problems won't be a problem in regards to him participating in this event. However, I think there's no chance at all that Badr will be fighting on this event, let alone any time soon.

- K-1 will be expanding their weight classes next year, with the overall divisions looking like this: 55.2, 59.0, 63,5, 66.7, 70, 77, 84, -93, +93 kg. These exact weights are still tentative. Masato showed a lot of interest in tournaments and Mr. Kim founded rankings.

- Due to what happened in the past with FEG, Mr. Ishii, etc. it will be very hard to get on TV in Japan. They are figuring out how to work around not being able to get on TV in Japan.

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Romie Adanza Has a New Opponent for K-1 on September 8th

Romie

Romie Adanza was originally slated to square off in a rematch with Andy Howson, a much-anticipated bout for fans of the two fighters, but sadly, Howson had to pull out. This left Romie without an opponent, but fear not, they have found a suitable replacement for Howson and it will still be a rematch for Adanza. Our buds at Can't Stop Crazy tipped us off that filling in for Andy Howson will be Shuichi Wentz.

Wentz and Adanza squared off at a WCK event last September, with Adanza walking away with his hand raised. He'll have his chance to walk away with his hand raised again on September 8th, this time in front of the world, live on Spike.com thanks to the new deal between K-1 and Spike.

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With K-1's Spike TV Deal in Hand, It's Time to Re-evaluate K-1

K-1

It was announced today that Spike TV and K-1 have come to terms and that Spike TV will be the new home of K-1. For the Kickboxing world in the United States, this could completely change everything in the blink of an eye, as K-1 has not had a chance like this in a very long time. K-1 did, for a brief period of time, have a broadcast deal with ESPN, but it was mostly for filler content on ESPN 2 late at night and was never given its proper due.

This time around, it is different as K-1 has been turning its attention to the United States in a big way with their new management. Of the four events left for the rest of the year, two of them are slated to take place in the United States, with the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals happening in New York City on December 26th, for the first time outside of Japan. The recent fracturing of the Kickboxing world has left talent scattered between K-1 and GLORY or in the middle of a legal limbo with contracts with both It’s Showtime (which Glory acquired) and K-1. The names that K-1 has been announcing might not be captivating the old K-1 fans like they’d wish, but the real question right now is; does that matter?

K-1 has the unique opportunity to start anew with this television deal on Spike TV. Yes, K-1 does have a rich history and there are a lot of legendary fighters who helped build the brand to be what it is today, but at the beginning of this year, EMCOM became the new owners of K-1 and the team in charge of operations is entirely new. For the UFC, Spike TV served as a savior of sorts, giving them a chance to show off their unique product and even developed a reality show which helped appeal to a broader audience and push MMA to the masses unlike ever before. There is a good chance that K-1 has a very similar opportunity with Spike TV, and that it might be time to stop turning to the past.

If there ever was a time to build K-1 up with a different format, different approach and with different stars, right now is it. Many of us are certain that some of the fighters on the K-1 Los Angeles show are not going to be the new stars that they are looking for. Rick Roufus, Mighty Mo and Seth Petruzelli have all had their time in the spotlight in one place or another, and this time might not be their time to shine. Instead, K-1 has signed a few new fighters that will participate on the card, including Jarrell Miller, Jack May, Randy Blake, Xavier Vigney, Justin Greskiewicz and more. These fighters, and possibly others, could be the names that truly impress and help re-launch K-1.

As much as we all love the one-night tournament format and the fighters that made K-1 what it is today, it might be time to simply let go of the K-1 of the past. There is a good chance that the “Japanese production” style could also be one of the relics of the past that is not needed to make K-1 a success in the United States, with that possibly deterring new fans due to the spectacle nature with less focus on the sport itself. Time can only tell what will work and what K-1 will ultimately do with this new television deal, but what is clear is that they have a very big opportunity placed in their laps right now, and that failure would probably mean the end of K-1.

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K-1 Gets Deal With Spike TV

K-1 has landed on US television, signing a multi-platform partnership with Spike TV for 2012 and 2013.

K-1's four events remaining this year will all be streamed on spike.com live. In 2013, events will move on to Spike TV.

In short, this is huge news. Spike TV is where the UFC got their start on TV and with Bellator also debuting for them next year, things are getting big for the network that already has attracted a number of combat sports fans along with its demographic of males 18-49. Read the full press release about the deal below:

SPIKE TV AND K-1, THE WORLD’S PREMIER KICKBOXING PROMOTION, AGREE TO MULTI-PLATFORM PARTNERSHIP FOR 2012 AND 2013 

New York, NY, August 20, 2012 – Spike TV and K-1, the world's premier kickboxing organization, have agreed to a strategic partnership that will begin this fall with live fights streamed on Spike.com beginning Saturday, September 8 at the U.S. World Grand Prix Championships in Los Angeles.  There will be a total of four events that will be streamed live in 2012.  In 2013, the K-1 events will move from Spike.com to Spike TV to coincide with the network’s extensive coverage of Bellator Fighting Championships. 

“We are thrilled to be in business with the world’s preeminent kickboxing organization,” said Jon Slusser, Senior Vice President, Sports and Multiplatform Events, Spike TV. “Spike has the most passionate and knowledgeable fans of combat sports and we are confident that they will enjoy the high-action of K-1, which serves as the perfect complement to our Bellator coverage next year.”   

"K-1 is excited to join forces with Spike TV, a powerful and highly experienced cable network known nationally for its combat sports programming, presenting our live K-1 events," said Doug Kaplan, CEO, K-1. "Spike is the perfect television home and stage to introduce our K-1 warriors and the fast-paced, aggressive style of K-1 fighting to fight fans across America."

Spike.com’s 2012 coverage will include unprecedented access to K-1 events, from live streaming of the weigh-ins the day before the bouts, to locker room interviews, to live coverage of every fight on the card, including all the prelims.

The four K-1 events in 2012 include:

September 8 - Los Angeles - U.S. Grand Prix Championship

October 14 - Tokyo, Japan - World Grand Prix Final

December 8 - Athens, Greece - MAX Final

December 26 - New York - World Grand Prix Final

The addition of K-1 to Spike TV’s lineup next year further establishes the network as the premier television destination for combat sports. Spike TV will debut Bellator Fighting Championships in January 2013 with a weekly live fight card featuring some of the best rising stars in the mixed martial arts world.   

K-1 is the largest kickboxing promotion in history. Since 1993, K-1 has presented professional live martial arts events in 38 countries, featuring the best and most accomplished athletes in the sport.

World Grand Prix Champions of K-1 include Alistair Overeem, Mark Hunt, Ernesto Hoost, Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky and Semmy Schilt.  K-1 returned to the world stage on May 26, 2012 in Madrid, Spain, drawing a packed stadium and hundreds of thousands of views on the K-1 Live Stream.

Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  Spike TV's Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV's press site at http://www.spike.com/press.  Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

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