According to the SNK team in a 1995 Neo Geo Freak Magazine interview, Franco Bash's fighting style of kickboxing was implemented into the game after Joe Higashi, noted by fighting using kickboxing's "rival" style Muay Thai, had his storyline shift away from being one of the main focuses of the series, upon which the SNK team decided that there was enough room for another kick-centered fighting style.
Contributed by ProtoSnake