Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

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

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks 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 years was known as the best standup fighting organization in the world. A series of difficulties led to K-1 not holding their world-famous K-1 World Grand Prix tournament last year, to many fighters not being paid on time or at all, and subsequently to 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 an ambitious slate of international events for 2012, beginning on May 27 in Madrid, Spain, and culminating in December with the K-1 World Grand Prix Final in New York City.

There certainly are many people who remain skeptical or even certain that the new ownership will not live up to the promises that have been made. But Douglas Kaplan, 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're also 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 us doing the TV side of stuff, the reality TV side. You'll see big partners in broadcast."

As for the owner, chairman, and CEO of K-1 Global, Korean businessman Mr. Mike Kim, Douglas Kaplan described him as "a very well-funded individual, and he's a very long-term oriented guy." He added, "Money is certainly not going to be an issue for us."

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

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