It looks like we may still get another K-1 Grand Prix after all.
In the first bit of K-1 news since the company was sold earlier this summer, a 2011 K-1 MAX tournament has officially been announced. The show will take place on September 25 in Osaka, Japan, and will feature a one night, 8 man, 70kg tournament. They are calling this the K-1 WORLD MAX 2011 -70kg Japan Tournament FINAL, which means it is not the official Grand Prix, though it does take us one step closer to a full World Grand Prix.
The line-up so far is very incomplete, with a mix of 70 and 63kg fighters, and no indication yet who is in the tournament and who is in a single fight. Names announced for far are Albert Kraus, Yuichiro Jienotsu Nagashima, Yuya Yamamoto, Yasuhiro Kido, Yuta Kubo, Kizaemon Saiga, Yuji Nashiro, Kenta, Takafumi Morita, Go Yokoyama, and YOSHI. It should be noted that this is the same weekend as the It's Showtime Fast & Furious 70kg tournament in Europe, meaning a number of big names in the 70kg division will be unavailable for the K-1 MAX show.
Over on the Heavyweight side, there is nothing official, but we are hearing strong rumors that a 2011 World Grand Prix will take place in October in China. Tyrone Spong mentioned the possibility in an interview with Ariel Helwani (though also stated that he would not take part unless he was paid what he was owed), It's Showtime head Simon Rutz stated that he thought Badr Hari's next fight would be for K-1 in October, and Daniel Ghita said on Facebook that he has been invited to participate in this event. For now, a 2011 K-1 Grand Prix remains a rumor, but as it picks up momentum it seems more likely to happen.
One question that needs to be addressed for this event regards the new K-1 ownership. Details on the purchase remain very fuzzy, with a lot of spectulation regarding the true owners of the new K-1. As for K-1 MAX, it was originally reported that they were not part of the purchase, though some sources have since indicated that they were indeed involved. Hopefully we'll get some details soon.
In one final piece of related news, Dream, the (former?) partner organization of K-1 has announced over Twitter that they will hold their traditional Japan New Year's Eve show this year, although it may not be called Dynamite!! as that name was part of the K-1 purchase. With Fedor Emelianenko also considering a December 31 fight in Japan, could we see a Dream/M-1 co-promotion?