Filling a 90,000-seat arena might be the least of K-1’s problems - June 2’s “Dynamite USA!!” is in danger of not happening.
With only 10 days left till 22 fighters are supposed to step on the scales, promoters Fight Entertainment Group (FEG) have yet to be granted their requisite license by the California State Athletic Commission.
A CSAC representative says the hold-up has been FEG’s inability and hesitation to submit financial paperwork, requirements the state agency stipulates of all its applicants.
“We’re not asking anything different of them that we wouldn’t ask of a promotion, big and small,” said a CSAC rep.
According to the CSAC, FEG has also failed to submit the bond necessary to cover fighters’ purses after numerous requests. Without the bond, the CSAC says the event will not take place.
In addition, lightweight Javier Vasquez will not be competing on June 2’s card against intended opponent Katsuhiko Nagata. In his place, FEG officials submitted a request for none other than Gabe Ruediger, who has been under the microscope for his recent turn on “The Ultimate Fighter 5,” airing Thursdays on Spike TV. While it is probable Ruediger is still under contract with the UFC, the CSAC has already rejected the bout because Ruediger is listed as still under suspension in Nevada.
As of today, headliner and former WWE pro wrestler Brock Lesnar, who is slated to face 7-foot-2 Korean Hong Man Choi, remains the only fighter cleared to compete on the “Dynamite” card. The CSAC says it has not received even preliminary paperwork for 19 of the 22 fighters slated to participate. This includes the 14 foreign fighters K-1 had agreed to deliver stateside beginning May 17. Kazushi Sakuraba, who faces Royce Gracie in a rematch, is scheduled to arrive in the US tomorrow. At this time, the CSAC can not confirm that any of the foreign fighters are now stateside.
Pro Elite, which has been indentified as a sub-promoter for the June 2 event, holds a valid promoter's license for three bouts under its banner for the night. Those bouts have been scheduled to air on Showtime prior to the pay-per-view. The CSAC had previously stated FEG would have to apply for it's own license for the remaining eight bouts. Pro Elite reps were initially unavailable for comment today.
With its largest team of officials, referees, and judges ever assembled confirmed for the June 2 event, the CSAC has described the situation as a “troubling” one.