Kickboxing Goveverning Bodies Vs Promotions

Discussion in 'Muay Thai and Kickboxing' started by Dougall, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. Dougall White Belt

    Dougall
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    There were recently world kickboxing championships close to where live. Now I've only recently started making an effort to follow kickboxing and I had never heard of the organisation prior to this. Then I find out there is a whole alphabet worth of these Kickboxing organisations.
    WAKO, WKU, WKA, ISKF, WKO, WKC etc.
    Turns out there have been a few world championships near me for these organisations. But none seemed big enough or on the scale of what I would imagine to be "world" championships, given 90% of the competitors were from the UK.
    So where do these organisations stand in comparison to promotions such as Glory or Bellator or Superkombat? I know their annual world championships cant be compared, but how do their belts compare to those of the big promotions ? Is a WAKO low-kick world champion on the same level as a Bellator champion?

    Or is it these organisations are more focused on "above the waist" or "American Kickboxing" ?
     
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  2. Hagelslag2 Brown Belt

    Hagelslag2
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    The real world-class kickboxers fight in Glory, Kunlun, WLF, Krush and K-1 (Might have forgotten an org or two). Bellator and Super Kombat don't come close to these orgs and neither do the alphabet orgs. The absolute top in Muay Thai is to be found fighting in the stadiums in Thailand.
     
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  3. jtwarwagon4life Green Belt

    jtwarwagon4life
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    You seem to be talking about promotions like Glory and organizations like the WBC, ISKA and whatnot as if they were the same kind of thing or competing entities. But they aren't really. In theory, promotions can work with sanctioning bodies, so that two fighters can fight for a WBC title on a Songchai card in Rajadamnern stadium. So, just because a fight is taking place in the stadiums in Thailand doesn't mean that an alphabet soup title might not be up for grabs.

    Belts in general don't really matter. They only have validity as "world titles", if they're being given out for the fights which involve the best fighter in that division. In practice they almost never are. Big promotional belts are usually a better of an indication of quality than "world titles" are. But in theory if the promoter and organizer could work together, the guy who had the Glory belt could also had the WKA title.

    Nope, they give out titles for pretty much everything under the sun.
     
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  4. Hagelslag2 Brown Belt

    Hagelslag2
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    That's not at all what I'm saying. I was just saying that the orgs I named and the stadiums are were you tend to find the best in their sports, not the 'world championships' organised by the alphabet orgs. That their belts can be contested at the stadiums or in the orgs I named, is pretty irrelevant to the fact that you find the best in these places.
     
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  5. jtwarwagon4life Green Belt

    jtwarwagon4life
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    I don't know what you mean. Yes, Glory or whoever has better fighters than the ISKA, but the ISKA isn't really a promotion with a roster of fighters. Moreover, the question was about the relative worth of the belts and what that worth derives from. So, if for example the WBC belt was regularly contested for in the stadiums between elite fighters, then it would certainly have as much claim to being a world title as any.
     
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  6. Broadcast Muay Thai and Kickboxing Text Messages Blocker

    Broadcast
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    WAKO, WKN and ISKA are probably the most known sanctioning bodies. Then on your list probably WKU and WKA, the rest are pretty obscure.

    Regarding the promotions, Glory, Superkombat and Kunlun now etc are the most known and proven. Bellator is pretty new but has nice potential. K-1 for me is dead, what serious promotion only has lightweights now?

    The titles of top promotions are more important than those of the sanctioning bodies. WAKO/WKN/ISKA/WKA/WKU can also give titles in minor promotions shows or to bums as champions. Glory, Superkombat, Kunlun, etc have own championships but sometimes governing bodies are also giving some belts in the major promotions. For example Superkombat unifies belts, gives diamond belts and so on (SK worked with WKN, WAKO, WKA, almost with all except for ISKA). I also believe Kunlun had some governing bodies giving non-Kunlun belts of course. Glory usually is only sanctioned by governing bodies. They have ISKA judges now.
     
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  7. Broadcast Muay Thai and Kickboxing Text Messages Blocker

    Broadcast
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    WBC and so on, like in boxing, are more for Muaythai. Not kickboxing.
     
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  8. Kassitus Orange Belt

    Kassitus
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    All of those alphabet things are cans. If we are talking above the waist I'm sure its a different story but nobody really cares about that style.
     
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  9. Sakuraba7 Brown Belt

    Sakuraba7
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    99% of their "world champions" aren't even true world champions. Every once in a blue moon you have two true great fighters competing for one of these belts, usually in Thailand.

    If the fighters are great, then he's a world champ but not thanks to those 3 or 4 letters, because their titles' record history are a bunch of journeyman, part-timers or anyone who has some contacts and pay up the sanctioning fee.

    This whole thing exists because they wanted to replicate the BOXING model into Kickboxing, but because it didn't have the long history and tradition that boxing did in the four corners of the world, it just never worked.

    To make things worse, they have multiple titles: one for kickboxing, another for sport karate, another for Thai rules, and MORE weight-classes than even boxing (Super Cruiserweight? wtf).



    The biggest look kickboxing ever got was from K-1, that includes the brief K-1 USA run they had in the early-2000s when Scott Coker was promoting it, and you had that Tyson vs Sapp spat. K-1 USA reruns even aired on ESPN at the time, but according to Coker, FEG pulled the plug on that. He eventually moved on to MMA.

    Glory had a lot of potential and vision when they first started off, but they've teetered off as well. I was so excited with their management: unlike FEG, actually getting global TV deals, and not simply wasting money holding events where they're not aired, or aired on fringe networks. Multiple weight divisions, et al. Glory dropped the ball. I stopped following the sport after that.
     
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  10. Kanka Brown Belt

    Kanka
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    #10
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  11. ctrlaltdelete Green Belt

    ctrlaltdelete
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    most of the alphabet ranked people i see on the east coast muay thai scene fight in amateur matches.
    once they go pro, they worry about wherever they are ( lionfight, glory, etc )
     
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  12. Dougall White Belt

    Dougall
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    This must be how a "world championship" belt has been held by and only defended against guys from one town near me.
     
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  13. Sakuraba7 Brown Belt

    Sakuraba7
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    Yeah, its all garbage and a shame how far kickboxing has fallen. Double shame that K-1 couldn't even develop a sustainable model of doing business or growing the sport.

    As much as I hate Zuffa, its something they did with the UFC very well. Even PRIDE had the right model, they weren't losing money or making the same grandpas fight in redundant tournaments. The tourneys were only a small part of its schedule, and they had English commentary team, and were developing their online VOD before UFC even dreamed of Fight Pass. Shame RIZIN is such crap. To me at least. I can't even fathom Sakibara and Takada are running that org. Everything's off about it. Like it woke up from a coma but never recovered, its a retarded version of what it used to be.
     
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  14. Snubnoze707 High Level

    Snubnoze707
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    How do you figure that? They went a solid 20 years of growth before FEG fell apart, and have rebuilt since then and currently have one of the most respectable models for Kickboxing currently. K-1 grew the sport exponentially around the globe in its run to the point that people call Kickboxing "K-1" like people call cola "Coke" or MMA "UFC". They were much more successful than Pride ever was.
     
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  15. Sakuraba7 Brown Belt

    Sakuraba7
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    I've made a dozen posts on it over the years. But a lot of it boils down to:

    1. Redundant tournaments. Fans got bored of watching the same 10 fighters fight each other for the 4th or 7th time.

    2. No English commentary team. PRIDE had it. K-1 held events abroad, but never really aired on proper networks, only fringe networks like Eurosport and later HDNet.

    4. K-1 never even attempted to approach networks, they expected the networks to approach them. Which is why outside of Japan and S.Korea, they were always on niche networks year-round.

    4. The head of SPIKE TV claimed they approached FEG before they approached Zuffa, and they were basically turned away.

    5. Scott Coker says he had K-1 USA on ESPN, giving the promotion publicity, and FEG pulled the plug on that as well.

    6. K-1 lacked weight divisions. MAX breathed new life into the company (see point #1). After Masato retired it went downhill. By the time they created the LW division, they were already bankrupt. Instead of obsessing over tournaments, they should have gradually replaced it with weight-divisions and singles-matches. The same thing UFC did.

    7. Unlike PRIDE, stupid FEG didn't even sell DVDs or video. PRIDE not only had their own English team, they sold DVDs and merchandise outside Japan. K-1 didn't, and you wonder why they went bankrupt, they couldn't do some of the basic business moves.

    8. Tanikawa was an imbecile, and IMO brought down the company. Dude had zero business experience. He used to work for a damn Kakoutogi magazine as a contributor or some shit. And unlike PRIDE, most of his freakfights didn't even make sense. Who tf wants to watch Jose Conseco in a fight? And why create DREAM (which also lacked the production or English commentary PRIDE did, but fortunately it was at a time HDnet was approaching orgs to air their content) if you're already struggling with K-1?
     
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    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  16. Karaev fan Brown Belt

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    Agree on all save 1 and 6. Tournaments never really got stale. The same fighters could go up each year, but because it was starting from a field of 16 and the matchups got shaken up I can never recall any field being stale except during the 2003-2005 period where there was such a move towards finding "Monsters" that K-1 failed to pick up interesting fighters from the different regions. That was the real killer. They had a brief rebound later what with finding Badr, Karaev, Saki, Ghita and Alistair. By then though, too much had fallen apart.

    As for weight classes, I'm fairly split on that one. Glory tried to build up the +70kg to <100kg range, but frankly there's no real array of competitive matchups there for me to get excited about (beyond fantasies like Kyshenko vs Holtzken). The smaller weight classes have a wealth of talent in Thailand and Japan, but putting the weight there also meant that MAX would lose much of its Japanese talent longer term as people stopped bulking up. After all, Masato, Sato and Kohi would all be 65kgers if there was no MAX weight.

    Your fundamental point is valid. K-1, especially as built up by Tanikawa, was fundamentally a TV show. They
    a. Failed to build up the product as a sport or a media product doing things other than getting ratings within Japan. They failed to see the opportunity in the US market, failed to build up a competitive base that creates new fighters, failed to branch out into avenues like streaming to monetize their IP
    b. Screwed the pooch on the show itself. Its like say the Walking Dead. In the middling seasons they spent so much time chasing shockers for quick ratings that people who had grown up on character-based storylines grew alienated and deserted the show

    In terms of the rebuilding; the new K-1 team built around Good Loser and GEN is as different from FEG as FEG was from the Ishii Kancho days. Those guys are event operators. I think they are brilliant in ways the old K-1 wasn't (operations management, match making, in-house talent building) but lacking the flair that a TV producer like FEG had (ability to sign on talent, promotion)
     
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  17. Sakuraba7 Brown Belt

    Sakuraba7
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    As I've mentioned that I stopped following the sport, I will refrain from commenting on current affairs. But i was very excited about Glory and its weight divisions, but they dropped the ball. They still did tournaments, just mini-tourneys each show. I think they should have phased that out altogether, im unaware of what their model is right now. But as you noted, there's PLENTY of talent in Japan, Thailand and China and promotions based their. So any shortcoming was there own fault.

    Glory had global TV deals, unlike FEG, but they failed to leave their mark in Asia in favor of concentrating in the US. In some ways, they failed on both counts. Not only did they lose the East Asian market outright (as other promotions popped up), but they never really left a huge mark in North America either. They're largely relegated to online broadcasts on ESPN3 and Fight Pass.


    I'm very much convinced the tournaments played a role in Japanese fans losing interest. Why else did they come up with MAX? That is what kept the company alive in its last 5 years until Masato retired. The tournaments created a barrier for new talent and storylines, with only a few fighters being able to make it through. Every year it would be one of the same 3 or 4 fighters winning the WGP.

    If it was me I'd have started doing MW, LW and FW fights on the undercard, building those divisions up. And by the time Masato retired, there would have been new stars, and by that time slowly phased out the tournaments outright. Perhaps like PRIDE hold a tournament in a given weight-class each year, with the divisions rotating by the year.
     
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  18. Will Samuelson The Bear

    Will Samuelson
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    To fight a "c class" Muay Thai fight last Sunday, I had to buy a license from the UKMTF. The rules are similar to K1 in a c-class. Now, I'm waiting to see if I get a K1 match up in a few weeks under no governing body at all. It's all bullshit, really. All that matters is the promotion and unless there is some local law that demands a governing body then I don't know why they bother with them at all.
    It's easy for a promotion to lays their rules/regs on the website and get on with it.

    All that WBC/KFC/McD isn't needed.
     
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