by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Ultimate Fighting Championship and K-1 veteran Ivan Salaverry has signed to fight for the International Fight League. He will face Eduardo Pamplona at the January 19th event in Oakland, California that kicks of the first full 11-event season in the short history of the IFL.
Salaverry was last in action at the World Fighting Alliance’s re-emergence over the summer in Los Angeles, California. There he defeated Art Santore in exciting fashion with a TKO referee stoppage due to strikes, as he out-struck the hard-hitting Team Quest fighter throughout the contest. It was a remarkable return for Salaverry who had been released from his UFC contract following what many deemed a lackluster effort in a bout with Nathan Marquardt in the main event of the first Ultimate Fight Night.
His opponent, Pamplona, trains under Ryan Gracie in Sao Paulo, Brazil and brings a strong repertoire of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai skills to the bout. At 5-1, Pamplona’s only loss was in the first bout of his career, against Sanae Kikuta, and has wins over such strong competitors as Jorge Patino and Jose Landi-Jons. Most of his fight experience has come in his home country of Brazil and the fight with Salaverry will be his first in the United States.
There was speculation that Salaverry was in talks to be on the next Gracie Fighting Championships card in Miami, Florida in January, however, the IFL officially announced his participation on their January 19th event today.
The event in Oakland will also feature the debut of the Ken Shamrock-coached Nevada Lions against his brother’s (Frank Shamrock) San Jose Razorclaws. Another featured team match-up on the card is Maurice Smith’s Seattle Tiger Sharks vs. the also-debuting Southern California Condors coached by Marco Ruas.
Coaches Smith and Ruas will face each other in a Superfight in Los Angeles, California on March 17th.