The K-1 press conference earlier today was not only the place for big announcements regarding the upcoming March event but also the hotspot for the latest ONE Championship gossip.
As reported earlier, reporters found an unsuspecting K-1 producer Carlos Kikuta at a café close to the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo, Japan during the ONE 165 press conference last week. He explained that he was looking to speak to Chatri Sityodtong after the Thai CEO left him on read after their latest e-mail exchange.
The attending media were more than curious about the situation and a large portion of the press conference was spend with K-1 executives and fighters weighing in on the drama.
Kikuta didn't hold back when talking about his interaction with ONE:
"We still haven't received response from ONE. They are not people that are capable of conducting proper business. After I talked with people from other organizations, they also got similar responses. So, either they're underestimating the Japanese market or they have no respect for the Japanese people. They asked us for help and when we respond there’s no response. I find it disrespectful. It would be better if they withdraw from the Japanese market.
The basis of local business is to carefully localize by being in tune with each region and culture. I wonder if those who can't do that will have no choice but to withdraw. It's strange that ONE has received investment from investment funds from all over the world. This is not a complaint or anger, it's just a matter of being astonished."
Krush and K-1 MAX producer Miyata Mitsuru added: "Someone should tell Mr. Chatri how to run a promotion and how to matchmake. Does he have no one around him able to tell him he's an emperor with no clothes? Because of ONE's offer, I had to apologize to the fighters who were on standby and I ended up doing extra work."
One of the two K-1 fighters that were in the conversation to compete at ONE 165 was revealed - two-time K-1 World Grand Prix finalist Masashi Kumura. He hopes that the differences between the two promotions can be put to rest in the future.
"Since [ONE] offered a match in the first place, I'll take it as a sign that a fight against ONE fighters could happen in the future. In that case, I'll represent K-1 and knock out any ONE representative."