It's Showtime has long-been the number two kickboxing promotion in the world and in 2011 has decided to go all-out while K-1 was experiencing financial problems. In the span of time that it took for K-1 to run one event, It's Showtime has run six events and already has a 70kg MAX tournament lineup prepared for September as well as other big bouts planned like Badr Hari vs. Daniel Ghita. There have been rumblings of K-1's future activities, including being bought out and running further tournaments, as well as their Facebook campaign, but outside of the Facebook activity things have been very quiet on the K-1 front.
Heavyweight Grand Prix
Simon Rutz is very active on his Facebook, to the extent where if you ask him a question the chances of him replying are indeed very good. One of our awesome readers who uses the Facebook tag of "Ruslan Karaev" asked Mr. Rutz if they plan on running a Heavyweight tournament in the wake of K-1 not running it. Rutz's response was to the point; "If K-1 do not survive then we shall do it."
Since at this point in time I am certain that K-1 will "survive" I'm not exactly sure that they will run a Heavyweight Grand Prix soon, and if they do, it will be last minute. Even if the K-1 World Heavyweight Grand Prix does have a lot of prestige and history behind it, that does not mean that no one else should try to run a tournament. Fight Code is running their Rhinos tournament, and while the talent is definitely second-tier compared to K-1 or It's Showtime's top talent, the effort is appreciated and the output is fun to watch. United Glory also ran a Heavyweight Kickboxing tournament, and while it did not feature the very, very best in the world it did feature a solid line-up. It's Showtime has enough talent under contract to make this happen, as we've seen with their 70kg MAX tournament.
REBELS X It's Showtime Japan Countdown-1
Many people have gone out on a limb and assumed that It's Showtime would be live streaming the July 18th Countdown to It's Showtime Japan show which is co-promoted with REBELS Muay Thai in Japan, but I have confirmed with It's Showtime management that they have no plans to air the It's Showtime Japan Countdown series. Seeing as though the event features Giorgio Petrosyan it is indeed a bit upsetting that It's Showtime won't be carrying the fight.
Nightmare of Battle has reported that the REBELS portion of the event will be streamed live on the REBELS UStream channel. The It's Showtime Japan portion of the event will be streamed live as well, but at a cost, and a rather steep one at that. The event will be available on UStream PPV for 2,100 Yen, which converts to between 25 and 26 dollars USD, which is a steep increase from the $15 the average It's Showtime card costs with decidedly less fights to watch.