(Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.)
First and foremost, we have to thank CP reader Walter Cardenas, who passed along the news (or lack thereof) regarding the much anticipated Spike TV/K-1 deal that was set to kick off in late 2012. And unfortunately, those of you who were looking forward to seeing the Japanese promotion both stateside and on a semi-major network in 2013 are in for some bad news, because according to multiple sources, the deal has already been killed. For starters, the promotion’s webpage on Spike.com is blank. And in less speculative news, Spike TV president Kevin Kay stated the following in an interview with MMAFighting:
We’re probably not going to move forward and continue with K-1. It was a little bit of an experiment. Those guys are great. We’re trying to figure out our kickboxing plans. It did okay. It was a digital play (K-1 aired on Spike.com late 2012). There are other things we can do in the kickboxing spectrum.
News of K-1′s demise (you know, their fourth or so in the past few years) started way back in July of 2012, when promotion insiders declared that the event they had targeted for the end of December at the Madison Square Garden would be “unfeasible.” Although Kay mentioned the possibility of a similar deal with rival kickboxing promotion GLORY down the line, he made sure to emphasize that for the time being, Spike’s focus would be on that of Bellator:
[GLORY] was a great night of fights and we’re impressed by the organization and continuing discussions. There are serious discussions also as well as discussions with Bjorn (Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney) with any potential partners we get into kickboxing with. Right now we’re launching Bellator. We’re all about Bellator. If we do end up in the Glory business, that’s going to be a little later down the line. We don’t want anything to get in the way of our launch with Bellator.
And conveniently enough, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney has also displayed some interest in a cross-promotion, even going as far as to say that he would loan out his fighters to the kickboxing promotion if they so desired:
We’ve got a different view on the fight business from the other guys (UFC). If we can find the right kind of guys, we’d like those (kickboxing) promoters to keep our guys busy if they’d like to fight as kickboxers. And we’d also like to bring guys in from other organizations. It just depends on the right guys. Kickboxing is wildly fun to watch and it’s exciting. Not all our guys can make a great transition from MMA to kickboxing, or from kickboxing to MMA. But for those who can, we’d like to bring that knockout excitement with them to our shows.
So there you have it, K-1 continues to die a slow, agonizing death that would make even Strikeforce cringe with disgust. But because I’m all about ending on a positive note, upon checking the GLORY website, I discovered that Tyrone Spong is set to face Remy Bojansky at GLORY 5 on March 13th, and let me tell you, that fight is going to be insane. I know, contain your excitement.