International Fight League
Infobox sports league
title =International Fight League
pixels =186 px
Mixed martial arts
New York Pitbulls
website = [http://www.ifl.tv/ IFL.tv]
TV =The International Fight League was an American
mixed martial arts(MMA) promotion billed as the world's first MMA league. It was founded on January 7 2006and closed on July 31 2008. [ [http://www.thefightnetwork.com/news/mma/805/zuffa_purchases_ifl Zuffa Purchases IFL] ] Instead of the established norm for MMA events, where matchups are strictly one-on-one affairs, each IFL card was a showdown between two camps of at least three fighters, each fighter fighting one match against another in the opposing camps.
The IFL was founded
January 7 2006by real estate developer Kurt Ottoand "Wizard" magazine founder Gareb Shamus, two well-financed devotees of mixed martial arts who were inspired by the Mark Kerr documentary " The Smashing Machine". With the IFL, they intended to create a system not only to showcase mixed martial arts action but also to provide a business plan that will allow fighters to also share more of the profits of the sport. In a marked contrast with the rest of the industry, instead of paying fighters only purses after fights, they are given a salary and health benefits to train and fight. The team concept is also conducive for television, where episodes can be regularly produced in the continuing storyline of an ongoing season.
It had been widely speculated that the IFL, with the deep pockets of its founders, television deal and innovative business plan, would become a major circuit for MMA in North America, directly competing with the
Ultimate Fighting Championship. The UFC and IFL had a hostile relationship, as the UFC have accused the IFL of and sued them for illegally using proprietary information obtained by hiring executives from the UFC organization. [ [http://www.mmafighting.com/news/2006/ufc_vs_ifl_060224.html The UFC files case against International Fight League] ] The IFL shot back with their own suit claiming the UFC was threatening potential partners to not work with the IFL, including Fox Sports Net (a deal with Fox Sports was later signed before resolution of the suit [ [http://www.sherdog.com/news/news.asp?n_id=4205 IFL Inks Broadcast Deal with Fox Sports Net] ] ). The tension between the IFL and the UFC has recently worsened with accusations that the IFL has attempted to buy out several top UFC fighters.
The inaugural event was held on
April 29 2006at the Trump Taj Mahalin Atlantic City, New Jersey, featuring the Quad City Silverbacksvs the Los Angeles Anacondasand the Seattle Tiger Sharksvs the New York Pitbulls, with a superfight between Jens Pulverand Cole Escovedo.
On August 31, 2006 publicly traded (
OTCBB) company, Paligent Inc., principally held by New Jerseydeveloper and real estate industrialist Richard J. Kurtz, [ [http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2007/03/05/story3.html Houston Business Journal, Chemical maker mixes in martial arts, - by Greg Barr, March 2, 2007] ] authorized a merger agreement that coincided with its acquisition of the IFL. The IFL became the parent entity as Paligent agreed to change its name to International Fight League, Inc. Subsequently, on November 29 2006, the IFL became a publicly traded company, under the symbol IFLI. [ [http://www.secinfo.com/d11MXs.v2Hxz.htm SEC filings] ] [ [http://www.ifl.tv/Press-06Aug31-IFL-and-Paligent-Execute-Merger-Agreement.html IFL internal press release] ] Their current net worth as of 2006is around $150 million. [cite news
coauthors = Solly Granatstein, Scott Pelley
title = Mixed Martial Arts: A New Kind Of Fight
url = http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/12/08/60minutes/main2241525_page2.shtml
work = 60 Minutes (web site)
pages = 3
page = 2
accessdate = 2006-12-11
quote = ] In September 2007, Kurtz sold his interest in the IFL.
Changes in 2008
On December 20, 2007 IFL Commissioner Kurt Otto made an announcement in regards to some major changes for the 2008 season. First and foremost the team concept would be changed to instead focus on distinctive MMA camps. Otto reasoned that many of the teams did not train together, nor did many of them live in the respective cities they represented. Instead the new concept of the IFL will focus on camps and the fighters that already train in those camps. Also changing will be the five on five format to a more simplified three on three format. This will allow more flexibility in matchmaking as the teams will not be confined to pick one fighter in each weight class. Instead the three fighters can be from any weight class or they can all be from the same class. The "team" concept will still be somewhat intact as the camps will compete with each other for points in a final standing. Otto also announced that the IFL will extend an open invitation to any camps not already affiliated with the IFL to participate in "one off" events, where a non-IFL camp can challenge an IFL camp for supremacy. Similarly, any of the title defenses can also involve fighters who are not currently signed with the IFL in a "one off" fight. Otto announced that there will be eight shows in 2008 with no plans for a GP final. [ [http://www.ifl.tv/Roadmap08.html International Fight League ] ]
On May 8, 2008, the IFL revealed during a conference call that their August 15, 2008 event would feature the debut of a six-sided cage called "The Hex." [ [http://fiveouncesofpain.com/2008/05/08/ifl-to-unveil-six-sided-ring-announces-aug-16-date/ IFL to unveil six-sided ring during Aug. 15 show :Five Ounces of Pain ] ] This event has since been cancelled due to the company's financial problems, and made no announcement in regards to when or if it would resume full-scale operations again. [ [http://www.ifl.tv/Press-080610-IFL-Cancels-Event.html Mixed Martial Arts – International Fight League – MMA League Events | IFL.tv ] ]
In July 2008, there were reports of the IFL's possible purchase by the UFC'. [ [http://www.clusterstock.com/2008/7/ufc-might-buy-clobbered-international-fight-league-ifli- "Hope For KO-ed International Fight League (IFLI): UFC Might Buy It" Clusterstock] ] That same month, Joe Favorito, former IFL senior vice president, cited financial troubles for the closing of the company on July 31, 2008. Anonymous sources stated that parent company of the UFC,
Zuffa, had bought the IFL. [ [http://www.thefightnetwork.com/news/mma/805/zuffa_purchases_ifl Zuffa Purchases IFL] ] Other reports cited the UFC's airing of IFL footage on its programming, and the signing of previous IFL fighters, as an indirect confirmation of the purchase. [ [http://www.5thround.com/07252008/news/1293/ifl-going-goinggone/ IFL: Going, Going...Gone! UFC Here We Come?] ]
In 2007, the IFL made a television deal with
Fox Sports Netand MyNetworkTV. This made it the first MMA promotion to appear regularly on broadcast TV in the United States. [cite web
title="International Fight League's Total Impact" Program to debut on March 12th on MyNetworktv
The premiere of "IFL Battleground" on
March 12 2007on MyNetworkTVscored a 0.8 household rating (1.12 million viewers), and gained 250% in all key male demos (0.7 vs. 0.2) versus February. This represented a new MyNetworkTVhigh for male 18-34, a 17% rise over the previous record of 0.6. [cite web
title="MNT Gains With IFL But Ratings Remain Small"
www.broadcastingcable.com] However this episode was criticized by MMA journalists and fans, saying it glorified violence and brutality. [cite news
title=IFL BATTLEGROUND PREMIERS TO... 911?!
accessdate=2007-03-14] Kurt Otto apologized to fans, their fighters and coaches, and critics for the content of that show, and that "we made a mistake with some parts of the show, but we will learn from this and grow." [cite news
title=IFL COMMISH KURT OTTO APOLOGIZES
February 5 2008the IFL announced a partnership with the HDNet to air the first three events of their 2008 season Live. [ [http://www.ifl.tv/Press-080205-HDNet-First-Three.html IFL, HDNet Fights Team Up to Televise First Three 2008 IFL Events Live ] ]
February 15 2008 MyNetworkTVcancelled "IFL Battleground". [cite web|url=http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=7556|title=Breaking News|date=2008-02-15|accessdate=2008-03-07|publisher="The Futon Critic"]
The IFL currently consisted of nine camps, all owned by the league, and each coached by a veteran MMA fighter. Originally the IFL had teams that were associated with cities but that proved to be a lark as many of the teams did not train in their respective cities nor did all the fighters live in those cities as well. Thus in 2008 the IFL changed the format to revolve around existing camps and their established fighters. The current camps for this current season are as follows:
2007 IFL Team Standings
2007 IFL Individual Weight class Standings
In order to appease the many MMA critics who felt that the team concept the IFL displayed had no place in the one-on-one sport of MMA, the IFL decided to conduct an end of the year Grand Prix which will take the four best fighters of each weight class to fight it out in a mini tournament that will be conducted over two events. The first event will take place on
November 3, 2007and the second on December 29, 2007. Each Grand Prix winner will be crowned the first IFL champions of their weight class and be awarded titles that they will defend during the 2008 season.
2007 IFL Grand Prix
IFL Schedules/ Seasons
2006 International Fight League
2007 International Fight League
2008 International Fight League
As announced on
September 25 2007, the IFL underwent their very first IFL draft to find new talent to fill the ranks of fighters that were cut from their IFL contracts (due to poor records).Fact|date=July 2008 The draft took place in the three different locations on October 13 2007. [ [http://www.ifl.tv/Draft.html International Fight League ] ]
Along with the traditional five on five team system matches the IFL also has occasional super fights between various fighters that do not count towards any team system and may include fighters not associated with any IFL team. So far these superfights have occurred along with their results:
Jens Pulverdef Cole Escovedoby KO in 56 seconds of the first round (4/29/06)
Ben Ukerdef Travis Doergeby submission (key lock) in 2:10 of the first round (6/03/06)
Chris Horodeckidef Erik Owingsby KO in 4 minutes of the first round (6/03/06)
Jay Hierondef Jake Ellenbergerby unanimous decision (6/03/06)
Jamal Pattersondef Alex Schoenauerby submission (guillotine choke) 2:32 in the first round (6/03/06)
Daniel Graciedef Wes Sims by technical submission (rear naked choke) 2:42 in the first round (6/03/06)
Matt Lindlanddef Jeremy Hornby TKO (Strikes) 0:21 in the second round (9/09/06)
Renzo Graciedef Pat Miletichby submission (guillotine choke) 3:37 in the first round (9/23/06)
Allan Goesdef Daniel Gracieby TKO (Strikes) 1:03 in the second round (11/02/06)
Mike Whiteheaddef Mark Kerrby TKO (strikes) 2:40 in the first round (11/02/06)
Erik Owingsdef Ed Westby decision (unanimous) (12/29/06)
Andre Gusmaodef Brent Beauparlantby decision (unanimous) (12/29/06)
Reese Andydef Jamal Pattersonby TKO (ref stoppage) 3:24 in the second round (12/29/06)
Daniel Markesdef Tyrie Johnsonby KO 1:03 in the first round (12/30/06)
Mike Whiteheaddef Krysztof Soszynskiby decision (unanimous) (12/29/06)
Renzo Graciedef Carlos Newtonby decision (split) (12/29/06)
Jeremy Horndef Faliniko Vitaleby decision (split) (01/19/07)
Matt Lindlanddef Carlos Newtonby submission (guillotine choke) 1:43 in the second round (2/2/07)
Robbie Lawlerdef Eduardo Pamplonaby TKO (ref. stoppage) 1:36 in the third round (2/23/07)
Jeff Currandef Kevin Englishby submission (guillotine choke) 1:12 in the second round (4/7/07)
Maurice Smithdef Marco Ruasby TKO (Towel) at 3:43 into the fourth round (5/19/07)
Lyman Gooddef Mike Dolceby decision (unanimous) (08/02/07)
Dante Riveradef Nissim Levyby TKO (strikes) at 1:15 of the third round (08/02/07)
The IFL follows the "
Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts" established by the New Jersey Athletic Board, with several exceptions. In addition, the IFL is also sanctioned by the *ISCF - International Sport Combat Federation
* Matches consist of three rounds of four minutes instead of the usual five,
* Elbow strikes are not allowed to the face or head,
* If the match is initially scored a draw after three rounds, there will be a three-minute sudden victory round to decide a winner.
In contrast with most mixed martial arts promotions in the United States, the IFL stages their fights in a five-roped ring similar to the one used in
On 5/08/08 the IFL announced the unveiling of a new six sided ring that will be used for the IFL. Nicknamed the "hex", the ring was created by
Throwdownwho is a MMA equipment manufacturer. The ring allows more surface area to fight as well as give fans a better view of the action. [ [http://www.ifl.tv/Press-080508-IFL-The-Hex.html Mixed Martial Arts – International Fight League – MMA League Events | IFL.tv ] ]
The IFL currently uses six weight classes:
Mixed Martial Arts
List of IFL champions
* Hunt, Loretta. [http://www.internationalfightleague.com/News.aspx?t=&i=31 Introducing the International Fight League] . "IFC.TV."
January 9 2006. Retrieved May 6 2006.
*Thaler, Jeff. [http://www.sherdog.com/news/articles.asp?n_id=4051 Breaking Down the Match-Up: UFC vs. IFL] . "Sherdog.com".
March 2 2006. Retrieved May 6 2006.
* [http://www.ifl.tv/ IFL] - Official Website
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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