It’s Showtime announced today that it has signed a new deal with the new K-1 owners that will see both the lightweight and heavyweight tournaments continue as well as fighters contracted to the Dutch kickboxing organization participate on some of the previously Japanese-owned organization’s planned cards.
FEG sold the struggling promotion to Chinese businessman Michael Kim, who promptly attempted to distance it from the company’s spotted past by changing the name to K-1 Global (how original). Kim also atoned for the sins of his forefathers by agreeing to pay each of the It’s Showtime fighters previously owed money by FEG 50 percent of their outstanding pay as a signing bonus with his new promotion.
Among recent signees with “K-1 2.0,” according to a release on the official It’s Showtime website, are IS fighters Daniel Ghita, Tyrone Spong, Hesdy Gerges, Paul Slowinski, Rico Verhoeven, Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva, Ben Edwards, Melvin Manhoef, Sergii Lashchenko, Mourad Bouzidi, Dzevad Poturak, Chahid Oulad El Hadj, Gago Drago and Andy Ristie. There will be more big names announced in the coming weeks as well as the schedule of K-1 events, including the lightweight and heavyweight grand prix tourneys.
K-1 Global’s head office will now be located in Hong Kong. It’s unclear if the promotion will only promote kickboxing events or if they plan to hold hybrid shows or resurrect the Heroes brand to put on MMA events, but it’s likely that they will address this in the coming weeks as well.