When fight promoters are willing to jeopardize their health by stiffing one of the baddest heavyweights in the world, you know they really don’t have the money. That’s the situation with Alistair Overeem, who revealed on last week’s edition of MMA Live that he still hasn’t been paid for his K-1 World Grand Prix win in December.
Of course, Overeem is far from the first fighter to be shortchanged while competing in Japan — but as their grand prix champ and one of their biggest stars, you’d think K-1 would do everything in their power to keep him happy. The news gives even more support to rumors that K-1 is heading for bankruptcy, as Dutch kickboxing promoter Simon Rutz claimed in an interview earlier this week.
As for the Japanese MMA scene, keep in mind that neither DREAM nor Sengoku have scheduled their first event in 2011 yet, and Sengoku has been mysteriously shedding talent. Between poor management and local fans simply moving on from MMA and kickboxing, are we witnessing the death knell of combat sports in Japan?