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K1 legend Jason Suttie reflects on launching pad King in the Ring has become for Kiwi kickboxing

Kiwi kickboxing tournament King in the Ring returns tonight, having proven itself as a genuine pathway to the UFC and other global show.

Israel Adesanya, Dan Hooker, Brad Riddell and Carlos Ulberg have all used it to launch their careers.

The competition was started by six-time world champion Jason Suttie after his historic career in K1.

“I was on K-1 and that used out-rate the rugby on a Friday, Saturday night,” he said.

Local fighters are keen to follow the footsteps of big names like Adesanya, who won three King in the Ring titles, before becoming a global UFC superstar.

“After 29 shows in nine years it's the show you got to get on,” Suttie said.

The Kiwi show produces such good talent partly because it's one of the only eight-man tournaments left in the world.

To claim the crown, you have to win three fights in one night. (CONTINUED...)