The last we heard from K-1, they had just been bought by Japanese real estate company Barbizon. But it turns out they weren’t really sold in the way companies are typically sold – they just moved the K-1 brand over to a different company so litigious parties would have a harder time suing and stripping it away from them.
As it stands, K-1 is still in the impotent hands of Kazuyoshi Ishii and the gang at FEG that ran the company into the ground. But for how much longer? Kickboxing promoter Simon Rutz lays out the situation:
FEG, the parent company of the former K-1 brand, is technically bankrupt. The name K-1 lays now at the Japanese company Barbizon. There are 2 serious parties now, which try to pull the K-1 brand name towards themselves and place this in a new company.
The first one to find an investor is FEG’s president, Mr. Tanikawa. He has found a Korean investor who has big plans with the K-1 label. This investor claims to have a verbal agreement with Mr. Ishii and Barbizon regarding the takeover of the K-1 label. Details were already discussed and agreed upon, but the only missing thing is the necessary signature of Mr. Ishii.
The second one to find a potential investor is Bas Boon. He has found an American company which also has big opportunities to bring the K-1 brand to high levels. However, also this company needs the signature of Mr. Ishii.
In the meanwhile, even a third potential investor has reported itself to take over the K-1 label, but this investor has presented itself only a couple of days ago.
Simon wraps things up positively, saying ‘From next year there will be a new and healthy company that will work on the worldwide brand of K-1.’ That’s a pretty positive outlook when it’s doubtful Ishii and Tanikawa would sell to someone who’d rightfully tell them to fuck right off and never come back. Ishii was mixed up with the same criminal elements that resulted in PRIDE’s blackballing from TV, and Tanikawa has spent the last two years screwing and stiffing half the superstars in kickboxing.
If there were two guys less capable of fixing what’s wrong with K-1, they’d probably be burn victims who’s eyeballs and tongues are all melted off. They’d be in comas too. And would probably have some pretty serious brain damage. Even then, I might still prefer them to the current guys. “Just gurgle up some blood if you’re interested, okay?”