Tuesday, November 20, 2007

IFL Recap and Grand Prix Talk

IFL by the MMA Blaster

On IFL.tv, the IFL officially announced plans for their December 29th Grand Prix finale show. I have been a fan of the IFL and virtually every other MMA league in existence. I had a good time at their May event at the Sears Centre. The format of the IFL drew me in, partly because of the team format and structure which almost resembled a high school wrestling team. Also their stock of fighters made me interested because it included some ex-UFC talent, some B level journeyman, and some legit up and comers who someday will probably dominate the UFC. (Helano, Horodecki, Rothwell, Kennedy, Fabiano)

The team finals came and went, with Renzo Gracie's Pitbulls winning this year and injuries mounting on virtually every team. There were also fighters that were not signed or injured following the team competition. Undefeated IFL fighters Mike Whitehead, Tim Kennedy, Antonio McKee and Ben Rothwell were nowhere to be found in the Grand Prix. Also left out was Red Bear Mark Miller (8-2) who brutally KO'd Josh Neer, had a UD against Brad Blackburn, and lost a UD against the frontrunner in the division Delson Helano.

In an effot to boost hype, the IFL has decided to scrap the Horodecki v. Fabiano fight in the GP, a move that left me quite upset. The IFL has instead tossed in Shad Lierly to fight for the LW title against Horodecki and declared it the "Rematch of the fight of the year." They have decided to drop Fabiano to 145 and have him face LC Davis (9-0)(very talented, but why is he just thrown in there). The 170 final will stay Hieron v. Helano. 185 will stay Horwich v. Radach. And HW will be Nelson v. Jaoude. I was happy to see that they signed Tim Kennedy to fight on the undercard as well as Rory Markum.

The IFL needs to revamp for the next season. My advice, redact a couple more teams to leave the league with 8 or fewer teams (San Jose is gone, add a few more). Pick the teams solely based on the revenue made at each city to ensure good turnouts. Rename the teams based on the camps they are training at. Get Dan Severn to start a team or take one over (Tokyo). Let the fighters advertise on their shorts so they can make more money.

Instead of 3 regular season matches, team championship (2 events), and grand prix (2 events) (possible 7 events in a year) shorten the season. Have 2 or 3 regular season fights to seed the 8 man grand prix (have the grand prix play over 3 events for 5-6 events total). Base the team championship on where fighters place in the Grand Prix. Use the bracket as a marketing strategy like the NCAA tourney and DON'T CHANGE IT UNLESS YOU NEED TO REPLACE AN INJURED FIGHTER WITH AN ALTERNATE. If possible have 3rd place fights to fill in. Have penalties for fighters that do not make weight.

Whatever happens to the IFL, at least they tried something new. I'll post my picks later as the line-up could change.

Shonie pic taken by the MMA Blaster, no doubt that the purple pimp suit was rocking. Whether or not Shonie actually had floor seats is probably an entirely different question.

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