A Message From K-1 Global's Alin Halmagean

Jan 5, 2014
(PRESS RELEASE) -- A lot of fans around the world have been asking why I was the referee on December 28th in China and I want to use this email to explain to the situation to everyone. At the K-1 World MAX Quarter Final event in China, K-1 Global was faced with a few last minute issues that forced us to do some reshuffling with the resources that we had on hand.

I traveled to China at the beginning of December to help our team prepare for our end of the year event. My job with K-1 as a director is to assist our Chairman, Mike Kim, in all of the issues that K-1 face. He asked me to help to train the Chinese team for the December 28th show as they were facing a team of top fighters from Thailand, so I started training the Chinese fighters on December 3th. I knew most of the Thai fighters on a professional and personal level, some of which are my friends or I’ve done business with their managers for a long time.

My initial job for December 28th was to provide live commentary for the event and nothing had changed until the morning of the fight. We brought in Mr. Atsushi Onari from Japan as the official referee for the event, as Mr. Onari is been with K-1 since the beginning and he is one of the best referees in the sport of Kickboxing today. In fact, the last show that he officiated was the Glory Japan event on December 21th. The main card for our event started at 12:00 pm, with the bus picking up the fighters and crew at 9am, with the undercard beginning at 10:00am. When we arrived at the venue we found out that for reasons beyond K-1 Global’s control, Mr. Onari was not allowed to referee that day, which put us in a very bad position, as we had selected Mr. Onari as the referee for not only his experience but for many, many reasons. Our only choice was to have a referee from China or a referee from Thailand, but both this options were out of question considering the China vs. Thailand theme for the fights.

Faced with a difficult decision Mr. Kim asked me to step in as the referee for the event as he believed I would be fair and had the right experience to enforce the K-1 rules in the ring. Even though I knew that our decision would bring some controversy, I knew in my heart that my integrity will be intact and that I would be fair to all of the fighters. I work for K-1 and I always want the best man to win. I love every fighter from every country that fights for us and I would never make any unjustified decision when I am in the ring. If the fans can watch all the fights that night and find a single mistake in my work in the ring please let me know, but please believe me that there were no mistakes or injustices in my work on December 28th, nor was I skewed in favor of any one fighter while in the ring. In fact, both the Thai referee and Mr. Onari were complimentary of the performance in the ring after the event had concluded.

I understand and appreciate that our fans are passionate about our sport and I agree with them when it comes to being critical on the things happen in the ring, but please do not judge the book by the cover. Hopefully this clarifies on what happened on December 28th, and we appreciate your continued passion and support for K-1!

Yours in Combat Sports,

Alin Halmagean

Director of Regional Operations & Fighter Acquisition



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