by Ken Pishna
The International Fight League on Monday made official the speculation that has been running through the mixed martial arts community. Frank Shamrock will join the IFL coaching ranks as the head of the San Jose Razorclaws.
This comes as no surprise, as one of Shamrock’s top fighters, Brian Ebersole, has been recruiting athletes for Shamrock’s team on the Internet and is rumored to be one of the fighters who will be on the team when the roster debuts.
Shamrock’s team has taken on the Razorclaws moniker, which was originally intended for a team that was to be coached by Mark Coleman. But Coleman’s team, which was to be based out of Columbus, Ohio, never got off the ground.
The announcement that Shamrock will be taking over the Razorclaws name and coaching position only serves to lend more fuel to the rumors circulating that Mark Coleman will soon return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Coleman’s contract with Pride Fighting Championships has been up since his TKO/injury win over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Though it was previously announced that Coleman would coach an IFL team, that seems to have been quietly put to the side and Coleman appears to have worked on a deal with the UFC.
The IFL, however, seems to be more than pleased to have Frank Shamrock joining the ranks of their coaching staff. “Frank Shamrock is both a world champion athlete and one of the most well-respected coaches in the MMA community,” said CEO Gareb Shamus in a statement released by the IFL. “Bringing him on board now further strengthens what was already a solid lineup of world class coaches.”
With the recent return of Shamrock to active competition, his addition to the IFL roster also adds another dimension to the possible match-ups for the super bouts that the IFL is implementing starting in September. Already announced is a super bout between coaches Pat Miletich and Renzo Gracie on September 23rd in Moline, Illinois.
It is also believed, but not confirmed by the IFL, that coach Matt Lindland will fight Jeremy Horn on the September 9th event in Portland, Oregon.
Shamrock could easily be matched up in bouts versus Matt Lindland or Bas Rutten, if not at lighter weights against some of the other coaches. Shamrock’s return to active MMA competition this past March against Cesar Gracie set the all-time attendance records for MMA in North America, with paid attendance of over 17,000 and total attendance of over 18,000.
Along with the announcement that Frank Shamrock will be coaching the Razorclaws, the IFL also reiterated three other new coaches and teams: the Matt Lindland-coached Portland (Oregon) Wolfpack; the Carlos Newton-coached Toronto Sabres; and the Antonio Inoki-coached Tokyo Dragons.