BY FIGHTERS FOR FIGHTERS
It all started in Vallentuna Boxing Camp (VBC), ROK’s fight training academy, in 1993. The gym promoted small events just to provide fighting experience to the fighters training at the camp.
VBC grew fast and became one of the world’s leading fight-training facilities building up and managing several amateur and professional Muaythai and Kickboxing World Champions.
FIGHTING SPORTS TOWARDS ENTERTAINMENT
In 2002 the team behind VBC got the exclusive rights to produce K-1 events for FEG in Scandinavia region through Netherlands Daan Ennekin. The main reason was that the team delivered fighters to K-1 since 1999 and FEG wanted Scandinavia qualifications on their annual world series.
The event production part was then separated from VBC training facility and was named as K-1 Scandinavia.
The events then changed shape from small, low budget, semi pro events into bigger professional and exclusive shows in Stockholm.
To deliver maximum amount of action, excitement and entertainment for the spectators, the events was mixed up with top martial art fights between the superstars of the sport and wrapped around in a environment that looks more like an Rock concert with music performances, top DJ’s and more.
The event grew quickly from 2500 spectators on the first promotion in 2003, up to 11 000 spectators in 2005. After that, the event size has varied depending on the fight card between 7 000 – 11 000 live spectators. All the major newspapers & TV were covering the news aspect of each event. This also brought up the question in Sweden why Pro Box was forbidden but not Muaythai/K-1.
THE WINDS OF PROHABITION
In 2007, professional Martial Art sports in Sweden faced a powerful enemy. By then Professional Boxing had been forbidden in Sweden for 30 years and the Sport minister Bosse Ringholm wanted to have the same regulations for full contact sports such as Muaythai.
ROK personal, together with Fryshuset’s Anders Carlberg and with help of the vice president of IFMA/WMC Mr. Stephan Fox took an active part preventing this to happen.
Together with lot of martial art lovers, different martial art federations and over 200 000 martial artists in the country, a huge work started in every city of Sweden against the prohibition resulting the legalization of most martial arts disciplines.
K-1 SCANDINAVIA BECAME ROK
During the first 5 years ROK grew to become a majeure actor in full contact sport, in the world.
In 2008 the company policy changed due to the financial collapse of the Japanese K-1 partner company FEG. The company board decided then to change names of the events from exclusively K-1 Scandinavia to Rumble of the Kings. This also opened up for the matchmaker to add up other disciplines such as MMA and Pro Box to ROK’s Muaythai/K-1 showcase. The fight cards then changed shape from being approximately 90% K-1, 10% Muaythai to 10% MMA, 10% Pro boxing, 10% Muaythai and 70% K-1.
In 2012 ROK produced its last event. First the Glory 1 in Stockholm and the ROK 17 in Linkoping for the Frida Wallbergs title defence. When Wallberg dropped out 1 month before the fight for uncertain reasons, ROK suffered big financial damage and the company board decided not to proceed with further productions.
During 2013-2016 no events were produced by ROK but in 2016, the company made a comeback with a successful smaller test production in Annexet – Stockholm. The first greater production is expected to take place in November 2017.
Today ROK has produced 18 major events around in Sweden; 1 in Lulea, 1 in Malmoe, 1 in Norrkoping, 1 in Linkoping, 1 in Gotland and 13 in Stockholm. Over 100 000 live spectators and millions of TV/Internet viewers around the world have seen the events. As most, the events have been lived broadcast on TV in 61 different countries.
The ROK fighting events are now part of the world most respected fighting events, especially when it comes to stand-up fighting (Muaythai & Kickboxing). Top athletes are gathered here for ranking/qualification fights, tournament fights and title fights.
The fight cards are divided into two levels: The main card and the Pre-card.
The main card contains fights between Professional top league fighters/ champions who fight for titles, qualifying to different series or working themselves up in the world ranking.
The Pre card is build up with fights for the world unknown fighters, but who have worked themselves up to the level of national or continental champions and who deserve the chance to show if they can be part of tomorrows stars.