Kickboxing has re-entered the blended martial arts scene.
PKA Worldwide, the pioneer of the unique American-style kickboxing league within the Seventies-90s, has relaunched the league below CEO Joe Corley.
And now it has its first fighter.
Julio Cesar Carlos, a six-time Taekwondo world champion and Queens native, grew to become the primary fighter to ink a contract with the brand new PKA Worldwide on Tuesday.
“It’s an honor to be chosen for this chance,” Carlos stated in a press release. “I’m going to show to everybody that PKA Worldwide made the precise alternative. Joe Corley and his staff know expertise. As soon as they noticed me doing what I do within the ring, they knew that I used to be on one other degree. This can be a privilege, however it’s additionally precisely the place I belong.”
The 31-year-old Carlos not too long ago fought at Madison Sq. Backyard, impressing PKA Worldwide executives earlier than taking part in an open tryout for the league.
After dominating Taekwondo since he was 4 years previous, Carlos was prepared for a brand new chapter.
“I’ve dominated the light-weight division for years, however there got here a second through the pandemic the place my coach and I noticed that we’ve accomplished all the pieces we may in Taekwondo,” Carlos stated. “We had been on the lookout for the subsequent problem and kickboxing got here knocking on my door. Now I’m able to show myself towards the perfect and present everybody what I’m able to engaging in.”
Initially launched in 1974, PKA Worldwide was broadcast on ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN and Showtime.
The league, and Corley, who was a kickboxer himself, have lengthy been credited for setting the muse for the rise in blended martial arts’ recognition within the nation. Particularly, Corley launched Americanized kickboxing, which permits fighters to strike opponents above the waist.
Corley and the league’s legacy can nonetheless be felt amid the UFC’s rising affect.
“Julio Cesar Carlos is world class each inside and outdoors the ring and is the epitome of what PKA Worldwide is all about,” Corley stated in a press release. “We’re thrilled to make him our first signing as we make out grand reentry into the fight sports activities area. I used to be blown away watching him compete and impressed by the work he’s put in to achieve this degree. Most significantly, we all know that followers are going to like the motion he brings to the PKA putting cage.”