This weekend was non-stop MMA and combat sports. Caffeine and sugar became some of our best friends as we went through Titan FC and Dream cards on Friday and into Saturday morning. From there, some of us decided to watch the most elite grapplers in the world compete in the ADCC early Saturday morning (as well as Sunday morning). To cap it all off, Bellator and UFC stole the spotlight on Saturday night with the most high-profile fights of the weekend. With all of this going, it would be more than acceptable for a fan of combat sports to miss one or two of those cards or keep their money in pocket and skip out on this year's ADCC. Almost everyone knew what was going on, but not everyone could fight off exhaustion or taking a hit in the wallet.
One event slid under everyone's radar, even our good folk over at Head Kick Legend. This isn't a swipe at the site, but to show how low profile this event actually was. It's Showtime Fast and Furious proved to be more relevant to the kickboxing world this weekend.
K-1 World MAX 2011 -70kg Japan Tournament Final happened on Sunday in Japan. Notable names such as Albert Kraus, Yuya Yamamoto, and Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima all had spots on the card. Yuji Nashiro took home the tournament crown with a referee stopping the bout in the 3rd round after a flurry of punches to Yuya Yamamoto. Kraus was eliminated by Nashiro in the first leg of the eight-man tournament. With no HDnet coverage, no Youtube stream, or no relevant press coverage, it is understandable for this event to fly under the radar.
The question I pose is this: does the lack of funding for a stream or press for this event prove that K-1 is dying still? Or is it just a slip in a slow climb back to relevance? Or pure lack of relevance to this weight class? To me, It's Showtime is not yet king of the kickboxing world. It hasn't reached the prestige and coverage of K-1. Anyone inclined in the sport of kickboxing could more than likely name me more K-1 GP winners than current It's Showtime champs. Will K-1 be able to climb back to their peak as one of the most prominent sporting events in Japan? Time will tell. The K-1 Heavyweight World Grand Prix's lineup was put out earlier this week, yet it is unclear whether or not it will be streamed or receive coverage on HDnet. So goes the sad story of K-1.