No Holds Barred: Douglas Kaplan on the Return of K-1

Written by: Eddie Goldman
No Holds Barred with Eddie.jpgNo Holds Barred with Eddie.jpg

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldmanspeaks with Douglas Kaplan, the COO of K-1 Global.

K-1 Global is the new ownership and operating company of K-1 (, which for many yearswas known as the best standup fighting organization in the world. A series ofdifficulties led to K-1 not holding their world-famous K-1 World Grand Prixtournament last year, to many fighters not being paid on time or at all, and subsequentlyto a change of ownership to K-1 Global earlier this year. K-1 Global has vowed"to rebuild the K-1 brand," and has started to release details of anambitious slate of international events for 2012, beginning on May 27 inMadrid, Spain, and culminating in December with the K-1 World Grand Prix Finalin New York City.

There certainly are many people who remain skeptical or even certain that thenew ownership will not live up to the promises that have been made. But DouglasKaplan, in our interview recorded Monday by phone, has no such reservations.

"You'll see what you'll see, which is that we're going to start to go out,"he said during this interview. "You're going to see very big names. You'realso going to see that part of our strategy is to bring in that new blood,because we're building this for years and years to come. You'll also see usdoing the TV side of stuff, the reality TV side. You'll see big partners inbroadcast."

As for the owner, chairman, and CEO of K-1 Global, Korean businessman Mr. MikeKim, Douglas Kaplan described him as "a very well-funded individual, andhe's a very long-term oriented guy." He added, "Money is certainlynot going to be an issue for us."

We discussed the plans for their seven major events for 2012, when more detailssuch as fight cards and venues will be released, some of the controversieswhich have already arisen about the new ownership, the relationship between K-1and It's Showtime, and more.

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