by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
The International Fight League announced the final team for their 2007 season. With eleven teams already presented, Igor Zinoviev was named the final coach for the league’s inaugural season. Zinoviev will coach a team of Russian fighters based out of Chicago, Illinois named the Red Bears.
The list of IFL teams and coaches for the full 2007 season are as follows:
Chicago Red Bears – Igor Zinoviev
Los Angeles Anacondas – Bas Rutten
New York Pitbulls – Renzo Gracie
Portland Wolfpack – Matt Lindland
Quad Cities Silverbacks – Pat Miletich
Reno Lions – Ken Shamrock
San Jose Razorclaws – Frank Shamrock
Seattle Tiger Sharks – Maurice Smith
Southern California Condors – Marco Ruas
Tokyo Sabres – Antonio Inoki (Coach Tokimitsu Ishizawa)
Toronto Dragons – Carlos Newton
Tucson Scorpions – Don Frye
In an IFL announcement, IFL co-founder and commissioner Kurt Otto expressed the IFL’s excitement in adding a team in Chicago, “Chicago is a hotbed for the sport and this will create a great natural rivalry with our Quad Cities team, as well as giving the strong Russian following of the sport a team to follow and connect with.”
Zinoviev had a short-lived professional fight career in the mid-90s, defeating the likes of Mario Sperry and Enson Inoue before losing to fellow IFL coach Frank Shamrock in the UFC in just 22 seconds when he was knocked unconscious by a vicious body-slam. He has since kept himself busy with personal training, body guarding, teaching and stunt work.
British fighter Ian Freeman was named an IFL coach at the promotion’s latest event in Portland, Oregon on November 2nd. Freeman’s team, the British Bulldogs, however, will participate in select events in 2007, joining the IFL for seasonal competition when they expand again in 2008.