Just as we assumed, today the K-1 brass announced a new -63kg Tournament that will take place on June 25. They'll look to build off of their -63kg Tournament last year, which featured all Japanese fighters. It's a different approach for K-1 as they try to build up new Japanese stars to possibly create a new star that can somewhat "revive" K-1.
It'll be an 8 man tournament, the winner will have to win 3 fights in one night to claim the crown. Here are the brackets:
Quarter Finals, -63kg Japan Tournament
|K-1 MAX Japan 63kg Tournament|
|Yuta Kubo||Kaizemon Saiga|
|Yuki Takeuchi||Masaaki Noiri|
Super Fight, -70kg
Yoshihiro Sato vs. Albert Kraus
The -63kg tournament features some of the same names from last year, mixed in with new names. Koya Urabe, HIROYA, Yuki Takeuchi and Masaaki Noiri are the new names in the tournament and without doubt deserve to be there. Many were disappointed that some of these names didn't take place in the inaugural -63kg tournament last year. Koya Urabe and HIROYA are the most notable of these new participants. Urabe being a reserve fighter in last year's tournament and a prominent fighter in KRUSH while HIROYA was one of the faces of the K-1 Koshien series. Definitely a better field of fighters than last year's tournament. If the first -63kg tournament last year is anything to base this off of, then you should expect fireworks.
The addition of Yoshihiro Sato vs. Albert Kraus is a great one as both men haven't had the best of results lately and look to get back to the top. It's a big fight between 2 top 10 middleweight fighters that is sure to add some interest to the card for those who aren't familiar with the tournament participants.
As of right now, the chances of a TV deal are looking slim. There's no TV deal in Japan and with the event just being announced, it's unlikely HDNet will hop on board.
Be on the lookout for more details in the lead up to the event.