- IFL BATTLEGROUND PREMIERS TO… 911?!

March 13, 2007
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by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com


content=""I think my guys are ready to fight to the death for their team and that's what I think it's all about">




"I think my guys are ready to fight to the death for their team and<br /> that’s what I think it’s all about

"I think my guys are ready to fight to the death for
their team and that’s what I think it’s all about." These infamous words
kicked off the premier episode of IFL Battleground on MyNetworkTV.

 

Then they
cut to several high-paced, action-packed fight clips that culminated in Wes
Sims being rear naked choked by Daniel Gracie… with a sound-over of a heart
beat that flatlined as Sims went unconscious.

 

This is
the point at which I thought to myself, “Oh no!” But I wasn’t quite ready to
walk out onto the ledge.

 

Battleground
continued with a few too many “face pounding” and “bone crunching” references
for my taste, but hey, we’ve finally got MMA on network television, so we can
let it slide, right?

 

That’s
when, at about ten minutes into the program, the black and white footage of
Ryan Schultz being loaded onto a backboard aired to Mr. Announcer Man’s
assurances that “someone will leave the ring tonight… on a stretcher.”

 

The
“leave the ring on a stretcher” promo continued in various incarnations
throughout the night, no less than eight times by my count. One such promo
actually cut in footage of IFL CEO Kurt Otto questioning a live crowd, “What’d
you come to see?” The next moment they were cutting back to the footage of
Schultz on a stretcher with a woman’s voice-over questioning, “911, what’s your
emergency?”

 

All of
this makes my next complaint pale in comparison. Now, I’ve complained before
about fights not being aired in their entirety on the IFL’s telecasts on FSN,
but I do know that it’s a time constraint situation that they’re forced to deal
with, so I can live with it. But on a two-hour program, not only were fights
not shown in their entirety, most 4-minute rounds were edited down to 2 minutes
and some change. The worst of it was that the rounds were edited in such a
fashion that they appeared to be complete rounds, not highlights, and in my
mind were presented as such.

 

I have a
pulpit from which to voice my complaints, pretty much whenever I see fit. Just
like I did hear, but instead of me continuing my ranting and raving, I thought
I’d fire up my handy-dandy web browser to surf around and see if I was being a
bit too harsh.

 

After a
few minutes of sifting through the hundreds of posts that lit up the message
boards within minutes of the IFL Battleground premier, my complaints appeared
weak… wimpy even.

 

Following
is a small sampling of what I found. Hopefully the IFL is listening in because,
if they are not, they may be making that 911 call for real.

 

“I
know it is a combat sport, but the presentation I just saw in the first 15
minutes is setting the sport back. The sound effects of a flat liner heart rate
as a guy is choked unconscious, ‘somebody is gonna leave on a stretcher’
comment by the announcer. ‘Bone breaking, blood splattering, etc.’ No
indication of the skill involved, just Team Toughman. ‘Unchecked aggression!!!’
Unchecked? Not checked by tactics or skill?"
style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>– Rollo the Cat, MMAWeekly.com

 

"They
are also trying to market this as ultimate boxing. Where are the submissions?
This will be a lot of peoples 1st time exposure to the sport. Not a very good
for 1st impression or explanation of the sport."
style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>– Mondai, MMAWeekly.com

 

"I
think I’m a bit disappointed because I was expecting something the tone and
style of their FSN style, but two hours long, so they could show all the fight
and some more behind-the-scenes stuff."
– Totalshock, sherdog.net

 

"Is
this the marketing for UFC I? What year is this? I usually love mixed martial
arts but I would be embarrassed to recommend this show to friends of
mine."

JInJackson, mma.tv

 

"I
thought it was messed up to promote MMA with ‘someone will leave on a
stretcher.’ It doesn’t just reflect poorly in the IFL, it reflects poorly on
established companies like the UFC that have done a lot to change the
"bloodsport" image of MMA… this new company comes in and promotes
it like wrestling."
– XxXdragonXxX, MMAWeekly.com

 

"The
start of it sounded like pro wrestling. Very bad for the sport talking about
killing and calling 911. Let them know so they can change it. It was the first
time I have ever turned an MMA show off."
style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>– travenbjj, mma.tv

 

"I’ve
always liked IFL because it was trying to convey MMA as professional, but this
is just repulsive. Even Elite XC didn’t stoop this low and I couldn’t stand
watching that."

RuleDogg, mma.tv

 

"I’ve
seen IFL fights broadcast on the local Fox Sports channels and it was NOTHING
like the train wreck I watched tonight."
style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>– lessQQmorePewPew, mma.tv

 

"They
turned MMA into an episode of Rescue 911."
style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>– MCHammer, mma.tv

 

"I
just took all mention of them off my Myspace page. I’m embarrassed that I told
people to watch this."
– Dead Again, mma.tv

 

"Bas
Rutten should be ashamed for being in this. IFL = Horrrrrrrrible."
style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>– Spencaaa, mma.tv

 

"…this
is not the way I’d like to see the sport promoted. Stick around so you can see
someone taken out in a stretcher? C’mon……….I’d much rather stick around
and watch the great fights and fighters. Low class promotion if you ask me.
It’s just as bad as the stupid Xyience commercials or :30 sec of a hot chick
commercials that Spike does."
– Meers311, sherdog.net

 

"This
is a huge step backward and I can’t believe that at this point in the sport’s
history there are promotions out there that are trying to promote the sport
this way."

Rickmassmma, mma.tv

 

"I
don’t much care for that type of promoting for the sport, I can already hear a
news report playing that beep beeeeeeeeeeeeep and the 911 call to bash the
sport. They must be trying hard to pull in the WWE audience who hear that kind
of garbage from the WWE all the time. Don’t get me wrong though, I do enjoy the
IFL and will still be supporting it (even on mute if I have to)."
style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>– Senor WhiteBelt, sherdog.net

 

"No
clock? Compressed/edited fights? This is lame. No ground? Poor representation
of MMA. Terrible."
– Upa, mma.tv

 

"…really
disgusting and hypocritical. Isn’t this the organization that banned elbows
because they were too violent?? Stupid, shortsighted and insulting to the
fighters, promoters, organizations and fans that have struggled to help the
sport gain legitimacy."
– TeamCup, mma.tv

 

"IFL
has a website at
href="http://www.ifl.tv/">http://www.ifl.tv/ where you can provide
feedback, and I assure they read it. Everyone should constructively let them
know that the stretcher/911 bit is seriously detracting from the product. I
have a feeling they won’t make that mistake twice."
style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>– Submystic, sherdog.net

 

 

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