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K-1 is a combat sport that combines standup techniques from Muay Thai, Karate, Kickboxing and traditional boxing among others. The recently new formed division called K-1 MMA promotes fights based on MMA rules where techniques from grappling sports such a Wrestling and Brazilian jiu jitsu are permited as well.

The sport was first formed in 1980 by Kasuyoshi Ishii in Japan. In 1982, a K-1 fight was televised for the first time.

Table of contents
1 Tactics
2 Popularity
3 Grand Prix
4 Famous K-1 fighters
5 Traditional boxing stars at the K-1 tournament


The principal object of K-1 is to win, either by knockout or by decision. Fights are fought inside a ring, like in boxing, and they are fought for up to three rounds, of three minutes each. Victories are usually achieved by hurting the opponent with kicks to the legs or the head, or using traditional boxing punches, such as the jab, cross or uppercut. No major K-1 tragedies have been reported; nonetheless, the risk of sustaining injury still exists.


The sport is popular principally in Brazil, Japan, and the United States, where it is banned in most states. Most K-1 contests in the United States take place in Las Vegas. The sports events are frequently shown on Pay Per View television or ESPN 2 in the United States.

Grand Prix

Each year, the countries where the sport is not banned hold a tournament that ultimately determines who will represent their country in the K-1 Grand Prix, held in Japan during November. This is a process that is somewhat similar to the process of choosing a Mr or Miss Universe representant: Many participants fight for the right to represent their country each year, but only one (the winner of each country), goes on to the Grand Prix tournament, where one contestant emerges as the world champion.

Famous K-1 fighters

Traditional boxing stars at the K-1 tournament

Late in
2003, Bob Sapp challenged Mike Tyson, the former world Heavyweight boxing champion, to a K-1 fight. While Tyson did not accept the offer immediately, he was signed as a K-1 fighter in 2004. Others who have made the transition from traditional boxers to K-1 fighters include: