Today Head Kick Legend was made aware by a number of solid sources that Amsterdam's It's Showtime promotion, led by Simon Rutz, has been working towards a full-on assault on the American market by running shows in the US in 2011. It's Showtime late last week claimed they had big news coming up and the general rumblings were that it would simply involve Badr Hari who was being released from prison and facing a hearing this Monday. They also hinted that this big news involved K-1, whom they work closely with.
Our sources have hinted that there is a plan for multiple shows in the United States, with a possible first show happening early in 2011 in Oklahoma (a strong MMA market). It's Showtime's management company, Black Label, currently employs such world-famous kickboxers as Badr Hari, Hesdy Gerges, Tyrone Spong, Giorgio Petrosyan, Melvin Manhoef, Gago Drago, Pajonsuk and many, many more. With the right partners in the United States, It's Showtime and kickboxing in general could be a giant success.
The truth is, no one outside of K-1 has attempted to promote kickboxing on a high level, and until K-1 decides to make a US return there is no one outside of It's Showtime better equipped for running American shows. K-1's last attempts have all been in either Hawaii or Las Vegas, with the Las Vegas market all-but drying out for them near the end and the shows not promoting high level talent. To make kickboxing work in the United States you need to promote at the highest level and offer up fans intriguing fights. The average fan is internet-savvy enough to know where to look to find information out about fights right now, and if It's Showtime can provide fights with their big name fighters, they will turn some heads.
Still no word on any possible television partners or promotional partners, but it is always safe to say that when it comes to combat sports in the United States that HDnet probably has their hand in the cookie jar somehow. There have also been rumors of Strikeforce working with It's Showtime to promote fights in the United States, which makes sense when you think back to Strikeforce being a kickboxing promotion run by Scott Coker and their PR
guy Mike Afromowitz formerly writing for K-1 USA, this is their roots. K-1 could also very easily have a level of involvement in this as they have always worked closely with It's Showtime and there does not seem to be an end in sight for that relationship.
Of course, remember for right now that none of this is official, but mark it as a strong rumor.