There is a new kickboxing organization, around (from this 2008). The KO world series.
It works roughly like k-1, with a event champion advancing to a final event to crown a final champion for the year.
It is intended as a rival to k-1 (although not quite yet on their scale), with the main advantages being:
1. No politics. Any fighter with a international record is welcome -no matter his organization.
2. Fighters only. No freakshows. Like K-1 used to be.
3. No exclusive contracts. Fighters are allowed to fight outside of the series as they please -up to and including k-1.
4. 3 different weighclasses (not 2 like in k-1) middleweight (-72kg), cruiserweight (-86 kg) and heavyweight (86+). All fought in each event.
5. 4-man tournaments instead of 8-man tournaments = less chance of injuries stopping fighters from advancing.
So far the following events are official:
# Auckland , New Zealand - February 8, 2008 Sky City Casino (this btw is the old "Kings of Oceania")
Tournament Overview - KO World Series 2008 in Oceania | K-1sport.de
# Macau , China - April, 2008 (the former Xplosion event??) Tournament Overview - KO World Series 2008 in Asia | K-1sport.de
# Europe , Yet to be confirmed - July, 2008
# Las Vegas or Los Angeles, USA - August, 2008
# Europe, Yet to be confirmed - November, 2008
It appears that every event will have 3 4-man tournaments. one in each of the weight classes. And then they add a few superfights.
Not completely sure about the rules yet.
They have attracted some well known names, known from k-1
Alexey Ignashov, Xhavit Bajrami (from team Andy), Alexander Ustinov, Lloyd van Dams, Andrew Peck, Tony Gregory, Jason Suttie, Dewey Cooper, John Wayne Parr to mention a few
KO WORLD SERIES KICKBOXING
Basically it is a reaction to the politics, and BS regularly surrounding k-1, and the fact that several top fighters cant seem to get fights there.
I hope they do well. If only to get k-1 to realize that the way to go is not more freaks and celebrity non-fighters (baseball players and shot-putter), but proven and experienced elite kickboxers.