The City Kickboxing champions factory could pit two mates against each other when the Hire Pool King in the Ring returns to Palmerston North Fly Palmy Arena on Saturday night.
The 86 kilo eight man elimination tournament is headlined by talented City Kickboxing duo, Mark Timms and Cameron Rowston.
The pair, who have been training side by side to prepare for the tournament, face the prospect of standing across the ring from one another if they make the finals.
Timms, a one time world kickboxing champion, who was ranked as high as number 10 in Glory (the most prestigious kickboxing organization in the world), is taking a light hearted approach to throwing leather at the man who he is drilling with and holding pads for almost everyday.
"I actually hate that guy," he smirks, before philosophically addressing the potential match up,"we are starting on opposite sides of the draw, so if we both make it through to the final we must be doing something right in training."
"If it happens it happens, we have to be professional and fight with all the intensity we can muster, anything less would be disrespectful to each other."
Rowston, who is coming off consecutive KO wins in his last KITR appearance, is equally relaxed about the prospect.
"We have to win two fights each to get to the finals, so I prefer to focus on the fight in front of me rather than what might be.
"If we're fortunate enough to get through I'm sure there'll be a bit of banter though."
Coach Eugene Bareman concedes a tournament is the only time he'd let team mates fight.
"I wouldn't let it happen otherwise but if they make it through, the coaches will withdraw, and they'll only have a guy to give them water and ice any injuries in the corner, thats the fairest possible way we can do it."
Promoter Jason Suttie has had had his own fighters face each other before in the finals but see it as part of the challenge.
"When Tafa Misipati fought Pauli Lakai in 2012 to win the Super Heavyweight title it was emotional, but they are warriors and this is what you sign up for in this journey.
"Mind you Tafa had to buy Pauli a beer afterwards though," he jokes.
The finals match up is my no means guaranteed as the 86 kilo division features one of the most talented line ups in recent years, with two former world champions and four national or international champions.
In addition to Timms and Rowston is veteran, former World Champion Pane Haraki, who is returning to his natural weight after a stint in the heavyweights, and Hayden Todd, the multiple New Zealand champion and KITR finalist who's looking to avenge a KO loss to Timms after a wild brawl in his last King in the Ring appearance.
The rest of the field is drawn from across the country, including South Island stalwart, Robert "War Machine" Dean, who made the semi finals of the 92 kilo contest in his last outing, and will be much more comfortable at 86 kilo's where his speed and combination punching will come into it's own.
Renowned commentator and analyst, Mike Angove, will be calling the shots with UFC star Kai Kara France, live and free to air on TVNZ's Duke channel, and warns spectators not to blink.
"Guys at 86 kilos retain the power of the heavyweights and combine it with the speed of the middleweights. This field in particular will provide fireworks.
"There's a lot on the line - several of these guys are pushing for big contracts overseas so expect explosive action and a little bit of desperation in these three round sprints."
To take the $10,000 winner's cheque and the King in the Ring crown, the winner must beat three opponents in one night. This proven format provides for spectacular action and been a crowd favourite in its sold out arenas across the country.
A couple of local fighters will also make the live television line up with Amber Craw and Connor Mooney from Palmerston's Art of Combat on the under card.
Mooney has set a real challenge for himself with the New Zealand Army Infantry man coming straight of the field to the with in on Friday night.