by Damon Martin -MMAWeekly.com
Former Pride middleweight contender, Denis Kang, has confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that he has signed a contract to fight for the K-1 Hero’s promotion in Japan.
“It got finalized actually just recently,” said Kang in an interview with MMAWeekly. “… Everything was done within the last two weeks.”
There was much speculation around Kang and K-1 over the last month. A possible match-up with Kazushi Sakuraba was mentioned, but the deal was not finished in time for that fight to materialize.
While Kang did miss out on fighting at the Hero’s event in Japan last night, he is looking to fight before the end of the year.
“There’s [a Hero’s event] in October, if not then, New Year’s for sure,” said Kang about his potential Hero’s debut.
Kang confirmed the deal was at least for one year, but wasn’t able to disclose the number of fights he might be involved in.
“You’ll be seeing me there for a while,” Kang stated about his future in K-1.
Fans in the U.S. were hoping to see the middleweight standout in the states, possibly signing with the UFC or another major promotion, but Kang says ultimately K-1 was the best place for him.
“We did talk to them a little bit,” Kang said about a deal with the UFC. “But we reached a better agreement with K-1 Hero’s, considering my situation over there in Korea and things like that. Not to say I won’t go to the UFC one day, but for now, I’m happy to be with K-1 Hero’s.”
As Kang stated, part of his deal allows him to fight in his native Korea where he has performed in the Spirit MC shows in the past. The American Top Team fighter said that was a vital part of the agreement.
“Part of the deal is that I’m still allowed to fight in Spirit MC,” said Kang. “Really, it had to be a part of the deal.”
Kang will continue training along side his teammates at American Top Team until his first K-1 Hero’s fight is scheduled.