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« | Home | »

Wednesday war room: More turmoil for the IFL

By Zach Arnold | October 9, 2007

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Ben Rothwell and Mike Whitehead are out of the IFL GP tournament. Money quote from The Fight Network:

According to the IFL’s Web site, both fighters’ exclusions from the tournament resulted from failure to sign contract extensions which would have also locked them in for the promotion’s 2008 season.

Kurt Otto is not happy:

“We’re very disappointed in the way this was handled,” Otto told FOXSports.com. “We have to do what’s right for our company. We felt we were being held hostage and we can’t have that.”

We can’t rip on UFC for icing guys like Andrei Arlovski out (due to having one fight left on contracts) and not rip the IFL for what’s happening here. Ben Rothwell means a lot to the IFL, as he’s one of the few stars the promotion has made so far. To put it politely, this is a mess for the IFL. More on the story at Bloody Elbow and Yahoo Sports.

Speaking of the IFL, here’s their latest SEC filing, which is a prospectus supplement. If you’ve followed our site’s IFL updates in the past, there’s nothing new or earthshattering as far as financial information. One thing to pay attention to over the next week is the IFL’s Q3 2007 report and how much money they made or lost in the last three months.

More talk about Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva.

UFC is selling their own brand of MMA gloves.

An interview with Dana White. (Hat tip: Mikeinformer.) Money quote:

“Tell Goldberg to quit fucking crying. Just because I do it bigger and better than everyone else does, doesn’t mean I’m trying to monopolize. This isn’t a monopoly. Everyone who can rub two nickels together is getting into this sport. Mark Cuban just jumped in. I’ll tell you what, there have been other people who have tried to compete with Vince and they couldn’t. there’s a big difference. They couldn’t compete with Vince because Vince would beat their ass every time someone tried to jump into his arena. And I’m doing the same fucking thing. If he’s saying that about me; thank you then, I look at that as a compliment.”

Obviously, the purchase of PRIDE had nothing to do with eliminating competition and creating mega-matchups for UFC to book. No, nothing to see here. Certainly nothing like McMahon’s offers to buy out the territories in the 1980s or else wipe out the competition. That would never happen in the fight business. :)

Fightlinker has further thoughts on Dana White.

Clay Guida vs. Roger Huerta for December 8th is now set. Here’s a new Sports Illustrated article profiling Huerta as a rising star in UFC.

Todd Martin has a new article talking about the history of re-matches in UFC. In short – if you won the first UFC match, your chances of winning the re-match are close to 70%.

The BBC has a video segment on the world of UFC.

Royce Gracie is training 40 Palm Beach police officers BJJ and self-defense skills. Video here.

Learn this man’s name because you’re going to have to start remembering it for future usage – Siyar Bahadurzada.

Here’s the card information for the next Cage Rage: Contenders event.

Kimbo Slice is coming to ESPN. MMA Analyst says the Kimbo Slice vs. Tank Abbott match is stirring the entertainment vs. prime match-up debate.

Ruben “Warpath” Villareal is back in the win column.

HBO on working with UFC:

After much speculation that HBO would add Ultimate Fighting Championship’s mixed martial arts, they’ve ended negotiations. Says HBO’s Ray Stallone: “We just could not make a deal.”

Kathy Duva talks about why UFC is more popular than boxing with younger people (in relation to younger demographics and Internet users).

Sid Dorfman in The Newark Star-Ledger writes that if Congress is trying to regulate boxing on a Federal level, why not MMA?

Opposition to McCain and Stearns results from the fear in Congress that their bills will do nothing more than create another expensive bureaucracy, stuffed with patronage.

Meanwhile, Stearns’ bill is more inclusive than McCain’s. He would license judges and referees, along with the boxers, and “protect the sport from the con artists and other fraudsters that have long preyed on these athletes.”

He is including in his bill a provision for “at least five random tests per year per athlete, supported by severe penalties, ranging from a half-season suspension for a first offense to a lifetime ban for a third.”

Such sentiment is fine, but if boxing remains in its sad state, the legislators will have to start aiming at the ultimate fighting disgrace, which is drawing an enlarging patronage who look much the same as the sentimental souls devoted to phony wrestling.

The All-Army combative tournament at Fort Benning this weekend.

Boxer Nate Campbell has some problems.

Eddie Goldman praises HBO for passing on airing UFC events.

Bill Mahood reflects on meeting Vladimir Putin and Hugh Hefner.

Being excited to fight for Mark Cuban’s new MMA promotion.

Topics: Boxing, IFL, Japan, MMA, Media, Pro Elite, UFC, UK, Zach Arnold | 26 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

26 Responses to “Wednesday war room: More turmoil for the IFL”

  1. David says:

    I don’t understand your emphasis about Rothwell. Hell of a fighter and great representative/face/star for the IFL. Are you saying they are in an awkward position because they need to re-sign him for much more money and they don’t want to?

    Poor Huerta had a tough childhood, makes me happy to see he is training hard and putting on high salary worthy performances!

  2. Zack says:

    I’d definitely say that Rothwell & Horodecki (sp?) are the two breakout IFL stars and the two guys that most people would like to see in one of the bigger shows. You can add Bart & Rory Markem to that too, but Rothwell & Horodecki are the biggest two, IMO.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    This is a smart business move by Ben Rothwell and Monte Cox. It is well known that the IFL is financially in trouble and they likely will not make it through the end of 2008. Why would any fighter want to sign a long term contract with a company like that? If Pride has taught us anything, it is that fighters should not be signing exclusive contracts with weaker companies because the second they go bad, a fighter could be on the shelf for 6+ months.

    On top of that, Rothwell really has nothing left to prove in the IFL. He just beat Ricco Rodriguez, and there is no big name competition left for him. What does he gain by beating lesser opponents for another year? I fully expect Ben Rothwell to end up in the UFC in 2008. It is the next logical step for his career.

  4. Ivan Trembow says:

    Regarding the new UFC gloves, which are also going to be used in UFC fights as the new standard gloves, this was mentioned at a Nevada State Athletic Commission meeting a few months ago. The UFC was basically making sure that the AC didn’t have any problems with the new gloves, and they didn’t. In describing the gloves to the five commissioners, the NSAC’s Keith Kizer said that the new gloves weigh approximately six ounces (instead of four ounces), and that they contain “significantly more padding” than the previous UFC gloves. I don’t know what differences, if any, the new gloves will make in future UFC fights other than possibly reducing the number of flash knockdowns (and thus flash KOs and TKOs), but even with that it’s hard to say.

  5. Ivan Trembow says:

    I don’t expect the federal boxing legislation to go anywhere in terms of actually affecting the state athletic commissions or the way in which boxing (or MMA) is regulated. John McCain is the key proponent of the legislation, and he’ll back down from far more important things than that if there is any significant political opposition. Remember like a year ago McCain was going to try to pass legislation to re-affirm the illegality of torture (excuse me, I mean “enhanced interrogation techniques”)? How did that turn out? McCain backed down from a political fight that he may very well have won, and he ended up supporting legislation that essentially did the opposite of what he was originally pitching.

    Keep in mind, all of that was about an issue far more important both to the country and to McCain personally than federal boxing regulation. McCain was attached to that particular issue on a very personal level, as his captors in Vietnam used torture (excuse me, I mean “enhanced interrogation techniques”) on him for years.

  6. Zach Arnold says:

    Let’s please try to keep as much of the non-sport political discussion out as we can. (It will save me dearly in flame war discussions.) Thanks.

  7. Ivan Trembow says:

    ah, sorry about that, I wasn’t trying to make it a political discussion, I was just trying to tie it into the point that it would not be unheard of for McCain to back off of the federal boxing legislation if it faces any significant political opposition

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    The description of the gloves given makes them sound more like Shooto style gloves….

  9. D.Capitated says:

    Obviously, the purchase of PRIDE had nothing to do with eliminating competition and creating mega-matchups for UFC to book. No, nothing to see here. Certainly nothing like McMahon’s offers to buy out the territories in the 1980s or else wipe out the competition. That would never happen in the fight business.

    Did I miss the memo where it was that Dana White stole all of the independent talent and lined up network deals to directly compete with the regional MMA promoters and their local TV deals? Because I don’t remember any of this. I do remember the UFC working closely with other organizations like TKO to help create talent for their bigger show though.

  10. You mean TKO is run by a promoter / manager (which is morally suspect in itself) who has a relationship with the UFC because his fighters go there? The UFC has slapped lawsuits on several MMA companies, continues to book their events and do special all-UFN nights on dates other major companies are doing their events, and have done 1001 other sneaky things to go after companies.

    The UFC doesn’t go after every barn league. But the minute you step up to the plate and try to be a major player, the UFC goes for the throat.

  11. D.Capitated says:

    You mean TKO is run by a promoter / manager (which is morally suspect in itself) who has a relationship with the UFC because his fighters go there? The UFC has slapped lawsuits on several MMA companies, continues to book their events and do special all-UFN nights on dates other major companies are doing their events, and have done 1001 other sneaky things to go after companies.

    Like when they ran a full UFC card the same night as an IFL event? C’mon. They’re setting PPV dates up 6-12 months in advance. The lawsuits they have made are to companies that use a phrase they copyrighted and thus own. Sounds like sour grapes. This “1001 sneaky things” is a load of crap. That evil UFC, offering contracts to talent from other organizations! What are they thinking? The American public wants 13 world titles. After all, it worked so well for boxing. And hey, we can just repeat that lie about the UFC giving medical records to the CSAC and then pat ourselves on the back afterwards if we need more “evidence”.

  12. Rollo the Cat says:

    6 ounce mma gloves? I might as well stop following the sport right now. I never liked regulation and I like it even less now. When is the next Rio Heros?

  13. D.Capitated says:

    6 ounce mma gloves? I might as well stop following the sport right now. I never liked regulation and I like it even less now. When is the next Rio Heros?

    Shooto uses 8 ounce gloves and 10 counts. Guess its time to stop.

  14. Zack says:

    Rio Heros is the shit!!!

  15. Rollo the Cat says:

    “Shooto uses 8 ounce gloves and 10 counts. Guess its time to stop.”

    I actually didn’t realize that, if it is true. Still, I am sure closed 8 ounce gloves and standing 8 counts with 30 second ground fighting limits are coming. Just give it about 5-10 years.

  16. Rollo the Cat says:

    OK, so who is the “American entertainment company” that purchased M1?

  17. LR says:

    What would be interesting is if the “American Entertainment Company” ended up being a company backed by Mark Cuban.

  18. Rollo the Cat says:

    “What would be interesting is if the “American Entertainment Company” ended up being a company backed by Mark Cuban.”

    If this isn’t all a smokescreen, and it might be, I would hope it is Cuban and not Pro-Elite.

  19. 45 Huddle says:

    Either way, Fedor officially has no competition. He hasn’t faced a Top 10 level fighter in over 2 years. Time to remove him from his #1 spot. He is undeserving….

  20. The Gaijin says:

    And who should he be replaced with?

    Couture? Who some would consider #1 by virtue of beating a thoroughly awful Tim Sylvia and Gabriel Gonzaga (who has made his name SOLELY on beating Cro Cop, someone who I should remind you is being shat all over as being “an overrated and pumped up PRIDE myth”).

    Couture doesn’t have the resume to warrant being #1 either.

  21. 45 Huddle says:

    UFC Champion by default.

    This sport evolves at too fast of a pace for one athlete to not fight top competition for over two years and then expect to be #1.

    Look at how many past #1 fighters have not only lost in the last 2 years… But have been beaten down in a fight…..

    Chuck Liddell, Mauricio Rua, Matt Hughes, Georges St Pierre, Takanori Gomi…… And while there was no distinct #1 at Middleweight, Rich Franklin could have been considered #1 at the time Silva destroyed him…. All of these former #1 guys were not only beaten, but stopped in destructive fashion.

    Not fighting Top competition for 2 years….. AND the fact that it widely reported that he has ducked very good big Heavyweights is easily the reason to get rid of him at #1.

  22. Davide says:

    Rothwell is a sloppy fighter who could hit the weight room and gym a bit more. Not sure he’s worth all that much. He’s still an unkown name in the mainstream and I personally could care less if I ever saw him fight again.

  23. The Gaijin says:

    While I do agree that the sport evolves very fast, Fedor has continued to fight and looked quite sharp in doing so. I do agree he has not faced “world class” HW’s lately, but I just don’t think that he’s a 1-D guy who’s seeing the sport pass him by. If we’re at this juncture in another say 6 months, I might be more inclined to agree with you. Having said that, I’d like to see how the situation sorts itself out before I make that call.

    As for it being “widely reported that he’s ducking HW’s”, I don’t think its been anything more than mere rumor. In fact was it not a UFC “insider” saying he was ducking Sylvia, I wouldn’t really be taking that for anything more than an attempt to leverage positions at the negotiating table. I was pretty sure that its also “widely reported” that several “world class” HW’s, including Cro Cop, Barnett and several others were offered a fight with Fedor as the PRIDE ship was sinking and they ALL DECLINED TO FIGHT HIM. He can hardly be blamed if others were just as guilty of ducking him.

    Time will tell…

  24. grafdog says:

    Rothwell and his ilk are delusional, they have “star” disease. LOL they beat two washed up fighters in Ricco and Kerr and now they’re sitting on the shelf rather than take the next step up to prove they’re the best among the IFL’s weak competition.

  25. 45 Huddle says:

    http://samcaplan.proelite.com/62053

    People complain about Dana White, but the IFL guys are worse. They tried to straight arm Monte Cox by threatening to pull multiple fighters for one guy not signing. That is bad business.

  26. choppa87 says:

    ON A SUBJECT I WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT HOW MANY TIMES CAN A MMA FIGHTER CAN RETIRE FROM THE SPORT.

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