If various reports are to be believed the recently resurrected K1 has once again NOT payed its lower-card fighters. The main-event fighters like Mirko Crop Cop and Badr Hari were smart enough to demand payment beforehand, but supposedly Simon Rutz of Its Showtime has issued a statement saying that some of his fighters have not received payment.
The future of the K1 Grand Prix looks very uncertain right now. Even Cro Cop, who performed wonderfully at the last K1 event, says that he’s very uncertain of the future of K1 and would even consider returning to MMA. K1 has disputed Simon Rutz’s accusations, saying that his fighters have not been payed, because Rutz has not supplied K1 with the means to pay the fighters.
I, personally, think this is a very weak excuse, and there are probably many uncertainties going on within the K1 ranks. All is not lost for kickboxing fans, however, as Its Showtime and Glory have merged together, and are looking to be the premier kickboxing organization in the world. K1 might be going the way of the legendary PRIDE organization. This is sad, as K1 still has name-value and many people around the world have grown up loving the fighters and atmosphere that K1 created.
Moreover, Badr Hari abruptly aborted his boxing career to win the Grand Prix title. If this honor does not exist anymore than what reason does he have left to stay in kickboxing? While Badr Hari is truly an international superstar, he has some big decisions to make in the next year about his career. I, personally, don’t know if he should hang his kickboxing career on an organization that may be breathing its last breath. But his boxing dreams look to be fading quickly also.