Over in Japan, K1 had a real dilemma on it’s hands. It’s ratings are on the slide, and it’s big K1 World Grand Prix ended up with a gong show final, with Badr Hari punching and stomping Remy Bojansky while he was on the ground. This might not have been a big deal if this was MMA, but that’s slightly illegal in K1 kickboxing so Hari was suspended and Bojansky was awarded the tournament title. The initial news coming out of K1 was that the officials were horrified by what went down and were preparing to give Hari the boot, but then a funny thing happened: Hari was voted Tournament VIP on their website. Simply put, everyone suddenly loved him.
So what does a Japanese promotion do when faced between the choice of doing the right thing morally and the right thing for their pockets? Fight Opinion has the answer:
K-1 front man Sadaharu Taniagawa and rule director Nobuaki Kakuda announced that Badr Hari, after his actions in the World GP finals match against Remy Bonjasky at Yokohama Arena on the 6th, would receive punishment from the company. The punishment includes: no fight money (all of it taken away), loss of K-1 Heavyweight title, and loss of stature as 2nd place finisher in this year’s World GP tournament. Regarding a possible suspension of Hari, K-1 management indicated that a new rule may be implemented next year for possible suspension of fighters for DQ fouls in fights.
Now here in America we have situations where the rules don’t allow for certain things. When Kevin Burns defeated Anthony Johnson via multiple eye-pokes, there was no rule in place that allowed the commission to overturn that decision. Commission rules are tighter than a nun’s ass … if there’s not a specific rule to deal with a specific situation, nothing can be done. This is supposed to protect athletes from fights getting overturned on a whim.
But in Japan, there’s no commission and K1 can do whatever the fuck they want, and they often do. So to pretend like there’s simply no rule in place to deal with Hari is bullshit. Instead, they’re pretending to punish him by taking away his pay for the tournament but leaving the door open so that he can fight on the New Years Dynamite card. And I bet you anything the pay he gets for fighting on New Years Eve is equal to a normal fight plus the money he just got taken away.
Don’t you just love Japan?