The reports of K-1’s death have been
greatly moderately slightly exaggerated. It just so happens that K-1 is only mostly dead, as the legendary kickboxing promotion recently launched the K-1 World Tour of small events in various countries, with the plan being to find and build new grassroots talent. They’re also continuing their K-1 World Qualifying Tour, in which small events in various countries serve as feeders for the eventual World Grand Prix tournaments… I’m not sure how or why that’s different from their other world tour, but whatever.
My point is, the next stop on the Qualifying Tour is in my home city of Calgary this Saturday, so guess where I’ll be while you proles are sitting at home watching Werdum beat up Nogueira? Yeah, you jelly. The main card features two heavyweight and two “MAX” division (155 lbs) qualifier fights, with an all amateur undercard. It really looks like this is a re-branding of/partnership with a local promotion called Journey Fight Series, so here’s hoping it works out better for them than it did for the Superkombat folks over in Europe.
While it’s great to see K-1 “helping to develop and discover new talent in hopes of finding the next K-1 World Champion,” one has to presume they’re doing this less out of an altruistic desire to build the sport, and more because this is the level they’ve been reduced to. Their 2012 WGP tourney was kind of a joke, they didn’t even have one in 2011, and Glory has absorbed most of the top fighters (especially the heavyweights). Will K-1 get off life support and recover even half of its former glory? I have my doubts, but I’ll still watch.