Well GLORY was hinting at a big announcement today. It's Showtime has already started and if you noticed, the event is sponsored by GLORY and GLORY logos are plastered all over the ring. This wasn't going to be posted until GLORY made the announcement at It's Showtime, but a bunch of MMA sites already posted the news, without any real insight into the matter at all so here it is.
GLORY just put out a press release on their website stating that they have acquired It's Showtime. All of It's Showtime's fighters are now under the GLORY umbrella, effectively placing pretty much all of the world's best kickboxers under the same umbrella. GLORY will absorb all of It's Showtime's assets and take over management of It's Showtime:
"GLORY SPORTS INTERNATIONAL (GSI), the owner and rights holder of the GLORY World Series championship kickboxing promotion and other related businesses, has agreed to terms with Dutch-based competitor, ‘It’s Showtime,’ led by the renowned European fight manager and kickboxing promoter Simon Rutz.
The landmark deal will effectively place all of the world’s top kickboxers, or stand-up fighters, under the same promotional umbrella. GSI will absorb other assets from and take over management of ‘It’s Showtime.’“This is what the world of stand-up fighting has been waiting for - all the top fighters competing in the same series each time to find out who is really the very best,” said Marcus Luer, Managing Director of GSI. "GLORY World Series will be the ultimate platform and testing ground for these fighters to showcase their talent and skills. It doesn’t get much more exciting than this!“By adding ‘It’s Showtime,”’ continued Luer, “GLORY has truly established itself as the No. 1 kickboxing league in the world. This is what the fans have been waiting for and we are here to deliver it. GLORY will soon announce a new series of events and a modernized tournament format for the rest of the year and for 2013. “The matchmaking possibilities will create some amazing fights and fans will truly see the best competing against the best across all weight classes. We are changing the landscape of this global sport.”"
What we don't know yet, though, is how this affects K-1. K-1 had a partnership with It's Showtime to use their fighters, but now that they're all GLORY fighters, it is uncertain if they will still be competing in K-1. GLORY has not been allowing ther fighters to compete in K-1 and if this continues, then K-1's plans this year are pretty much destroyed. GLORY holds all the power now, so we will see how things unfold.
Either way, this is a very good thing now as we get to see all the best kickboxers under one umbrella. We used to think of fights like Badr Hari-Semmy Schilt 3, Daniel Ghita, Semmy Schilt 2, etc. and now they're all a reality. Kickboxing has had a problem for a while now where a lot of fighters haven't been fighting the best and haven't been brought together under one universal platform due to promotional conflicts, and the hiatus K-1 went on.
GLORY now is the number one kickboxing organization in the world, there is no doubt about it. We will see what unfolds and what happens with K-1. I for one, can't wait to hear about GLORY's plans for the rest of the year and the future.