PRESS RELEASE by Cindy Ortiz
Date: March 06, 2006
Who: International Fight League (IFL)
What: Inaugural LIVE Event Date Confirmed
Where: Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey
When: April 29, 2006
Details: Four teams will compete in the first LIVE event. Each team will consist of five fighters, one representing each weight division of the International Fight League (lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light-heavyweight and heavyweight), and one head coach.
Team Name Coach
#1 The Silverbacks Pat Miletich
#2 The Pitbulls Renzo Gracie
#3 The Anacondas Bas Rutten
#4 The Tiger Sharks Coming Soon
Tickets go on sale TODAY at 12pm EST and are available through Ticketmaster Online!
(Courtesy of MMAFighting.com)
NEW YORK, March 6 /PRNewswire/ — Mixing the rising popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA) with the established team- and season-based approach found in America’s most loved sports, today it was announced that the International Fight League (IFL) has been formed. The IFL will feature some of the MMA world’s most-recognized and revered names as its coaches and fighters, each competing in live events throughout the year. The new league has been created by Gareb Shamus, founder and chairman of the comics empire Wizard Entertainment Group, and Kurt Otto, a highly successful New Jersey real estate investor and a life-long martial arts participant.
“The IFL’s goal, shared by the coaches and fighters, is two-fold: first, to elevate the sport to the elite level it deserves and treat mixed martial arts fighters like professional athletes, and second, to use the team and season-based approach that works so well in the NFL, NBA and MLB. This hasn’t been done before in MMA. Fighters have been treated much like they are in the boxing world — scrounging from fight to fight and promotion to promotion. We are giving the MMA athlete a level of respect they have earned and, frankly, they deserve.”
The IFL will target the 18-49 male fan base that has increasingly followed MMA, one of the fastest growing participation sports in the world. Among the unique aspects of the IFL are:
* The events will be held in a ring (not in a cage), believed to be the
most conducive environment for fighters, fans and production.
* As part of the new league’s innovative premise, each of the original
teams will have a set annual operating budget, which will include
* Day-to-day operations will be determined by the IFL’s coaches, who will
serve as managers who hand-pick and assemble their teams.
* They, along with their athletes, will be guaranteed a base income and
health benefits no matter how many times they compete during their
contracted periods, along with a bonus system that will offer
individual and team incentives for performance.
The first event will be taking place in a major live venue in mid-2006. Teams will represent numerous regions of the world, as well as the various disciplines currently highlighted in the sport. There will be teams of five — consisting of lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight. The IFL will launch with four teams in a single elimination tournament. At the first event all four teams will compete, one team will vie against another, with ten fights taking place. The two winning teams will meet approximately six weeks later to see who the Championship team will be.
“We are convinced there is a great opportunity before us to push the world of Mixed Martial Arts to an entirely new level,” said Otto. “The legendary team managers have built long and respected careers. Investing their experience, wisdom and personal resources toward the goals of building this league, recruiting other leaders and developing their own fighters can ultimately provide the kind of long-term rewards never available before.” Shamus also added that “Such a league of champions will be able to bring the awareness of this sport to a new level, while also creating the combined power necessary to negotiate best of breed promotional and media alliances.”
ABOUT THE IFL:
Founded in 2005, the International Fight League was created to establish a centralized and structured organization that brings the power and influence of the mixed martial arts industry together.