After the ONE 165: Superlek vs. Takeru press conference at the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo yesterday, reporters found K-1 producer Carlos Kikuta at a nearby café sipping coffee.
In an impromptu interview, Kikuta revealed that he had been in contact with ONE Championship for a few days and that ONE requested him to send two top-level K-1 fighters to participate in the upcoming January 28 card. In exchange, Kikuta mentioned that he wanted to invite ONE Featherweight Marat Grigorian to the "K-1 WORLD MAX" tournament on March 20 at the Yoyogi National Stadium.
Kikuta said that ONE reportedly planned on announcing K-1's participation at ONE 165, but that never came to fruition. Additionally, K-1's request was then met with silence.
"I would like to work with ONE to do something exciting, and that will not change. But I didn’t get a reply!" said Kikuta. "That's why I thought I'd talk directly to CEO Chatri [Sityotong]." A plan that didn't work out in his favor as well, as Kikuta wasn't able to access the backstage area to meet any of the ONE executives.
Kikuta told reporters that he is still optimistic that he can send over K-1 fighters in time for this month's card, and will wait for ONE's response.
"I want ONE to do their best, and if they can continue to move forward in a good way, there is a possibility that K-1 fighters will appear in this tournament. We will continue to work together," Kikuta said adding that the two two selected fighters are ready to go.