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Simon Rutz: Yeah, K-1 is likely heading to bankruptcy soon

By Zach Arnold | February 15, 2011

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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.

Topics: Japan, K-1, Media, MMA, Sengoku, Zach Arnold | 24 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

24 Responses to “Simon Rutz: Yeah, K-1 is likely heading to bankruptcy soon”

  1. David M says:

    This is bad news for the remaining 17 heavyweight professional kickboxers in the world…

    • Dave says:

      Yes, there are 17, you are right. Please talk about things you actually know about.

      • david m says:

        No you’re right, hw kickboxing is a hotbed of talent…Any fighter worth his salt is in the game to make money. How many hw kickboxers do you think don’t have to work another job? The pie in hw kickboxing is tiny compared to that in mma and boxing, and gets smaller every year. Tell me why any kickboxer with skills wouldn’t go to mma or boxing to try to make a lot more money. The days of Hoost, Aerts, LeBanner, Hug, Mirko, Branco, Sefo, Hunt, Bernardo, Remy, Skelton, Bonjansky etc are not here anymore (although I guess Aerts is still fighting at the age of 162, which just gets back to my point about how small the talent pool has become).

        • Dave says:

          Like I said, keep to things you know about.

          Peter Aerts continues to fight because he wants to, he is financially set and has been for quite a while. If you want to make the argument of Aerts is old and still competing, you could make the same argument for Randy Couture competing in UFC’s SUPER STACKED, BETTER THAN FEDOR divisions the past few years.

          Aerts proved he was one of the best years ago, and he can still hang because he train with the best and has the talent and skill.

          Most of the top fighters are doing fine.

          Out of that list, I know for a fact that twelve of them are living incredibly comfortably, and the rest is just because I have no contact with them.

          Kickboxing exists outside of K-1 and it does so comfortably. You have to remember that kickboxing is big in Europe and Asia. I’ve seen that kind of money that It’s Showtime is willing to kick around first hand, and trust me, it is good.

        • David M says:

          Listen, tough guy, don’t tell people what to talk about and what not to talk about. The fact that you feel the need to verify that all of the most successful hw kickboxers of all time are living comfortably, in and of itself, is an admission of the veracity of my statement (which doesn’t really need to be confirmed given the financial situation K1 is in as well as the rise of mma).

          Peter Aerts has been KO’d probably dozens of times in his career, but there is simply not a big enough wave of new talent to push him out of the top levels of the sport.

          The list you just sent is hilarious. Anderson Silva, Manhoef, and Mighty Mo are all somehow top 25 HW kickboxers in the world? Two of those guys are 185 pounders are Mighty Mo is like a 40 year old who failed at boxing and has become top level in K1. #1 and #3 are mma fighters (Reem, Schilt) as well. All of this adds to my point, which is that hw kickboxing is almost dead, and getting less and less important every year.

          I don’t take glee in this; my training background is in muay Thai so I am a big fan of K1, but that doesn’t mean I am willfully blind when it comes to the way the sport is shrinking, especially at the HW level.

        • Dave says:

          Um, Anderson “Braddock” Silva, not Anderson “The Spider” Silva. I really don’t feel the need to continue this after that, seriously. Like I said…

        • The Gaijin says:

          “#1 and #3 are mma fighters (Reem, Schilt) as well.”

          Actually they’re kickboxers who fought mma, and are now back to their primary sport.

        • Dave says:

          Right, I’m willing to concede that Heavyweight is like Heavyweight in every sport, where it isn’t as great as some of the other divisions, like Middleweight in Kickboxing and Muay Thai is incredibly deep.

          But to criticize because Semmy Schilt fights MMA sometimes as does Overeem is ridiculous. Schilt hasn’t fought MMA since 2008.

          As for the inclusion of Mighty Mo, he was a late replacement for Andrei Arlovski in the Final 16 and was chosen simply for the fact that he was in the area to see the show and is never really in good shape. He was able to bully Raul Catinas, who while good, was hand-selected to be fodder for a debuting Arlovski. Well, Mo pulled off what was a hail mary win and then got annihilated by Aerts in the GP.

          He was ranked solely for the fact that he made the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 8 and he beat the ranked Catinas.

          Like it’s OK to say you don’t like K-1 or kickboxing, but when you pull this internet “matter-of-fact” argument style when you don’t watch or follow you are going to sound ignorant.

      • David M says:

        look dude, I do like K1, I just realize what is patently obvious, that is to say that kickboxing is dying, especially at HW. Zach posted on the front page of his site that Overeem still hasn’t been paid for winning the GP. How shameful is that? This is the state of kickboxing now.

        Whether or not Anderson Spider Silva is ranked, he is probably a lot better than many of the bums who compose K1’s ranks now. Rampage Jackson was good enough to destroy Cyril Abidi (who KO’d prime Aerts) twice, for crying out loud.

        Would anyone really pick against Junior Dos Santos against these dudes? I think even Cain could beat many of them in kickboxing.

        Remy said his toughest fight ever was against Botha, a washed up 40 year old boxer who came to K1 once he was no longer good enough to compete at high levels in boxing (but was good enough to push Remy, defeat JLB, and defeat Aerts). Imagine what the Klitschkos would do against these guys. Vitali was a world champion kickboxer before he decided to go from the kiddie pool to the adult pool.

        Soroush: why do you feel sorry for me? You should feel sorry for your heroes who you somehow deem are “real fighters” because their pay sucks and the promoters stiff them on money (as in the case with Overeem at the GP, embarrassing but not surprising). I assure you these real fighters would rather have more money than they do now. Outside of the top guys (when K1 pays them), how many people are really supported in the kickboxing industry? It is really sad to see how far K1 has fallen.

    • Soroush says:

      It is shame !
      i’m sorry for David M
      it’s not strange , sometimes fight organizations get into financial problems.
      so should all fighters release their sport and fight for money ?!! I love Kickboxing fightstyle and love kickboxers more than other fighters because nowaday Kickboxers don’t fight for money , they are real fighters.
      and don’t forget if fighters with lower salaries changed their sport currently we HAVE NOT ANY MMA fighter because in 93-2002 Kickboxers were so much richer than MMA fighters.
      VIVA Kickboxing

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    All MMA fighters better sign with the UFC or SF ASAP or risk not having good money contracts available to them due to lack of roster room.

    This is great news for the UFC FW & BE divisions. They are about to get a lot more stacked.

    This is bad news for SF who will now have to pay out a lot of big contracts instead of allowing their fighters to go to Japan so they can skip one of their paydays. Not to mention if the UFC gets a few select fighters (like Kawajiri)…. SF has no title challengers for guys like Melendez.

    Interesting times…. I’m just happy that the top guys will be forced to fight each other or become irrelevant. No more seeing the Top 20 of a division scattered over 4 companies. Two maximum please…. Preferably one….

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    Strikeforce finally showed progress in their ratings with over 700,000 average viewers for the Fedor/Silva fight. Which means they were finally able to increase ratings based on a real fight not a freakshow one.

    Too bad it happened at a time when capitalizing on Fedor will be much harder. He says he isn’t retiring, but will fans want to see him fight half as much after that last brutal performance? Only time will tell….

    • Coyote says:

      “Im still counting the six moth’s of life you gave to Strikeforce”.

      Fighters who sign with UFC have to be careful beacause a bad start can mean career over. Strikeforce is a good option too.

      For Japan, i hear, that they gonna start again a new org. (Sengoku and Dream togheter). If not, i dont know what Kamipro and Gong Magazine gonna do (Broke).

    • The Gaijin says:

      That’s a bit misleading my friend. The show itself averaged almost 750,000 viewers (741,000) while viewership peaked for the Fedor/Silva fight with 1.1 million viewers.

      • The Gaijin says:

        But fully agree that it will be tough to build off that since they were clearly pulling that in with Fedor’s drawing power/hype. We’ll see if (a) people continue to tune in now that his “aura” has been completely demystified and (b) SF can use the fight to promote Silva specifically, and Overeem/Barnett/Kharitonov etc. going forward.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Peak viewership is a nice way of saying the show didn’t get a very high viewership so a press release will be sent out with an inflated number.

        You never see peak numbers really highlighted with nelson. Not with network tv shows. Not with cable shows. And even HBO doesn’t discuss peak numbers for their shows. Neither does Disney. And both are “premium” channels.

        So it got over 700,000. That’s what I said. And that’s the reality of it.

        But I forgot. I’m talking in the world of MMA. Where the UFC on ION got a higher number on ION and people bash it. But when Strikeforce still can’t hit that low mark for the 20th show in a row…. People go crazy because it improved!!

        Strikeforce…. For their own momentum…. Isn’t building the foundation to keep it. Silva got none of Fedor’s popularity transferred to him. It will always catch up with them.

        • The Gaijin says:

          MMA/Boxing shows always give peak numbers to the best of my recollection…I’m not trying to bust your balls, I was just giving the full story.

          Did I mention UFC anywhere? I don’t see the need for people to compare the two, UFC is the #1 premier league by far, especially in terms of name recognition and penetration and its numbers should be compared against its numbers while Strikeforce’s should be compared to its own to measure its growth and momentum.

          I thought the takeaway from UFC on Ion was (a) the numbers were actually a huge improvement from regular numbers, so overall they performed pretty well for the short notice and rather small amount of promotion and (b) they get better #’s on SPIKE.

        • The Gaijin says:

          Also, you said the Fedor/Silva fight got +700k viewers and from the reported numbers the fight itself got 1.1 million, which demonstrates that fans specifically changed the channel to see that fight.

          The reason HBO, Disney, network/cable tv doesn’t provide “peak viewers” is because it’s rarely, if ever, applicable to the content. Do people tune in for the last 15 minutes of the Wire or CSI? No they watch the whole show. Sports is different, especially something like MMA where you know approximately when the main event is going to be on.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          UFC on SpikeTV almost never gives peak numbers. Really, nothing really does. Do you think an advertiser for the in-ring ads on Strikeforce is going to purchase based on average or peak? Average of course because it’s cheaper and makes more sense.

          You might have been positive about the ION ratings but most people shat all over them. Yet many are praising these ratings like it’s the 2nd coming of Pride.

          All this means now is that the UFC is going to turn up the pressure when certain fighters contracts come up. It could get ugly.

          And really…. SF doesn’t have the money to make this a fair fight. White’s game has always been to let the companies crumble themselves. He never gets into bidding wars with the likes of Affliction. These ratings are going to change the game. The UFC is likely to change their policy going forward.

          The problem for SF is that Fedor losing means that they can’t go on PPV to even try and get the revenues in order to make this close. They have nothing that will get them above the $1 Million or so licenses fees of Shiwtime or CBS.

        • The Gaijin says:

          “UFC on SpikeTV almost never gives peak numbers. Really, nothing really does.”

          Yeah, almost never!

          It’s really too bad I had to post it like this (it wouldn’t let me comment with each unique link), rather than post each individual link to EVERY UFC Fight Night, Fight for the Troops, WEC, UFC on Versus and Ultimate Finale with the the words “ratings peak” in the title of the article and link itself to hammer home the point like this fine example:

          It’s really too bad you’re so clueless and don’t STFU and just embarrass yourself when you clearly don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.

  4. cutch says:

    The UFC is doing a Philippines TUF this year according to Dana and will do UK and Canadian ones soon as well.

    With the impressive numbers that the UFC & Strikeforce are doing, HBO would be crazy if they didn’t offer the UFC big money for some of their fight cards. Perhaps have 6 stacked PPV’s and the rest of big shows on HBO?

  5. white ninja says:

    criminal types hanging out at Simon’s shows in Amsterdam??? how preposterous!!!

    Rutz’s shows are underwritten by the Dutch underworld; with all of those VIP tables a showcase of every crim in the Dam. But it seems noone told Simon that


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