- Published: Monday, 05 February 2018 07:10
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For people who are unfamiliar with King of Kings, what makes KOK special? How is it different from other fight promotions?
Professional kickboxing fights used to belong to the world leader, the Japanese. Today we can say that this position belongs to KOK (King of Kings), an organization where the best fighters from all over the world come to participate. I think our brand name guarantees everyone exclusive fights with strong matchmaking, new names, new talents and an overall great show. KOK brings the largest audiences to the biggest arenas in all of Europe. We can also say that KOK is a symbol of stability as we have had 10 high level tournaments per year for many years.
What was the best KOK fight from 2017 in your opinion?
2017 brought many surprises to KOK. There were 12 tournaments in different European countries. Every tournament had its own intrigue. It is hard to choose the best fight, but I think that the fight of the year would go to Sergei Maslovojev vs. Thomas Bridgewater at the KOK tournament. It’s the kind of fight we will never forget.
What is your plan for 2018?
For 2018 we have 10 KOK tournaments scheduled in Lithuania, Moldova, Latvia, Estonia, Switzerland, Finland, Ireland, England and Cyprus as well as title fights in the -65 kg, -71 kg, -77 kg, -77 kg, -85 kg, -93 kg, and +93 kg weight categories.
Are there any big fights you would like to make happen in 2018?
ZAUR DZAVADOV VS. CRISTIAN DOREL
Usually KOK events are divided into two parts, the Hero's World Series, which is live on FightBox, and the World Grand Prix, which is rebroadcast later. What is your favorite thing about the Hero's World Series?
These are two separate projects, not a first or second part. One of them is called “FightBox’s KOK HERO’S WORLD SERIES and the other one is called “KOK WORLD GP”. Both of them are equally strong projects with the strongest fighters in the world.
There are always very big crowds for KOK events in Lithuania, sometimes 8,000 - 10,000 people. How do you attract such big audiences?
KOK started in Vilnius in 2009 and the BUSHIDO project started in 1999. They are held regularly and this increased the audience over the years. I also need to say that KOK fights have never disappointed our audience, so they come regularly to our shows.
In the last few years there has been a big boom in kickboxing in China. What is your opinion about this market? Are you interested in entering this market?
Chinese kickboxing tournaments are focused on the Chinese market. This is a different world which has old martial arts traditions. European audiences are different. They are more likely to choose KOK events over any Chinese brand. If we talk about our plans, we do have some offers for cooperation. They have offered to hold one event for us per year, but this is not our priority even though we have added one tournament in 2019 to our plans.
You have been in the fight business for many years and being a promoter is not an easy job. What keeps you motivated?
My whole life is martial arts. I’ve been promoting in this business since 1999. My main motivation is this way of life and a love for martial arts.
What message do you have for KOK fans?
We are so thankful for our fans who always support us at KOK tournaments. Thank you so much and we promise a lot of surprises, intriguing fights and astonishing shows in 2018!