By Zach Arnold | February 15, 2011
When we last left you on the Simon Rutz/K-1 front, he was supposed to promote an It’s Showtime event at Amsterdam Arena with K-1 fighters. He ended up announcing a cancellation for the event due to what he said was K-1 not paying some fighters and not being able to get him a roster to book a card. So, the show fell through.
In this new interview today (Dutch), Simon says (pardon the pun) that K-1 is headed towards bankruptcy. Now, I should note that bankruptcy is nothing new in the Japanese fight business. It’s happened many times with various pro-wrestling companies where a shell company will declare bankruptcy, avoid or minimize payments to creditors, and either transfer assets or start over anew under a new shell company. So, the idea of FEG declaring bankruptcy doesn’t mean that K-1 in theory would die.
(On a side note, Dan Herbertson reports that Dave Herman has been released from his Sengoku contract and may be heading to the UFC. Dan also notes that several more fighters may get their releases in the near future.)
The crux of the Dutch newspaper article is that Simon Rutz cannot run kickboxing events in the city of Amsterdam. The political climate is hostile, he claims, because the city’s Mayor (and police) feel that criminals from the underworld appear at major fighting events to show off and/or recruit new members and/or create trouble. As a result, Mr. Rutz says that the mayor wants to keep It’s Showtime events out of the area. When Simon talked about the canceled Amsterdam Arena show due to problems with K-1, he expanded his comments by saying he wondered if he could even run a show at this point in the city due to legal pressure. He said that he’s welcomed with open arms around the world to run It’s Showtime events but he can’t run shows now on home turf. Mr. Rutz said that the community complains about not having big sporting events and yet he wants to bring big shows to town and he’s facing pressure to not run shows. He says that he is tired of political/legal battles and that it takes a lot of stamina to organize fight shows. He claims that in order to run shows in Amsterdam he has to go out of his way to prove that he’s not connected to organized crime and that the legal fees would cost him a lot of money. Mr. Rutz questioned why he should have to wait until a new Mayor is elected in order to run shows at Amsterdam Arena.