K-1 began in 1993 and is a kickboxing platform and martial arts brand well-known worldwide mainly for its heavyweight division fights. On January 2012, K-1 Global Holdings Limited, a company registered in Hong Kong, acquired the rights to K-1, and is the current organizer of K-1 events worldwide.
The rules of K1 are as follows:
- Each match is three or five rounds in duration, with each round lasting three minutes.
- The match can end by Knockout, Technical Knockout, Decision, Disqualification, Draw or No Contest.
- Both the referee and the ring doctor have full authority to stop the fight.
- The fight is scored by three judges on a ten-point must system (The winner of each round receives ten points, and the loser receives nine or less. If the round is even, both competitors receive ten points).
- If there is a draw after three rounds, the judges’ scores are thrown out and one or two extra three-minute rounds are contested. The judges’ decision will then come from the scoring of each extra round only. If, after the extra round(s), there is still a draw, the judges will decide a winner based on the flow of the entire match, considering even the slightest difference.
- A fight can only end in a draw if both fighters go down at the same time and cannot get up, or in the case of accidental injury in the late stages of the contest.
- The three-knockdown rule is in effect (three knockdowns in a round results in a technical knockout).
- The mandatory eight count is in effect (the referee must count to at least “eight” on all knockdowns).
- The standing eight count is in effect (the referee has the right to declare a knockdown on a fighter who appears to be in a dangerous condition to continue in the match).
- A fighter can be saved by the bell only in the last round.