Let that soak in for a moment. A K-1 tournament is not going to end with a one night grand prix, an event that is synonymous with the K-1 brand and experience.
According to an interview with Ned Kuruc, Director of Events & Fighter Acquisition, at K-1 Global, the Final 8 will instead be resolved over several events with the grand final happening sometime in February or March 2014:
We’re not gonna do the Final 8 fights in one night, instead we’re gonna build up to a Final…On the first two shows we’ll have four of the winners, on another show we’ll have the other two winners. So the first two rounds of the Final 8 will be spread out over those shows, then Finalists will compete on a separate show for the Championship. The winner of that will not only be the year’s MAX Champion, but our 70kg Champion as well.
This is the second tournament in a row that K-1 Global has failed to complete within the same calender year, after the poorly executed 2012 heavyweight tournament ended in March this year.
The fact is K-1 Global does not have the resources to promote events the way they used to. That means the very one night tournament event that the K-1 brand was built upon will no longer be a regular feature in K-1’s future.
Is K-1 done with the tournament format? Absolutely not. We want to establish these weight divisions and crown champions, but we still want to run tournaments, just not as often. Maybe they are every two or four years, just not every year like we are all used to.
Well, it’s not all bad news. K-1 Global plans to focus on introducing and developing all the common weight classes in kickboxing.
Who am I kidding, extra weight classes do not make up for the loss of the one night tournament.