September 13, 2007

by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
(Photo courtesy of IFL.tv)

Shawn Tompkins has been released from his duties as the head coach of the Los Angeles Anacondas. Kurt Otto, the co-founder and commissioner of the International Fight League, confirmed to MMAWeekly on Wednesday evening that he made the decision to release Tompkins.

Tompkins took over the Anacondas as the handpicked successor to original head coach Bas Rutten earlier this year in March.

Since that time, the demands on Tompkins as a trainer have continued to escalate. In addition to training the Anacondas, Tompkins began training fighters at Dan Henderson’s branch of Team Quest in California. He has recently moved on from Team Quest to become one of the lead trainers at UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture’s gym in Las Vegas.

It came to a point where Otto decided that the members of the Anacondas were not receiving the attention that they needed to succeed in the IFL.

“It was my decision to let him go,” stated Otto. “Shawn is a good guy and a great trainer, but I just think that he spread himself too thin. At this level, you have to be 100% committed.”

“It had to do more internally with the team,” said Otto of the specific reasons that Tompkins was released. “I think he spread himself too thin. He was making too many commitments and his team suffered because of that.”

Otto was clear to state that, while it was a tough decision to release Tompkins, this isn’t the end of the line for Tompkins and the IFL. If Tompkins is training a fighter that he feels would fit in the IFL, the door is open.

“I didn’t burn any bridges and neither did he,” said Otto.

Tompkins isn’t the only coaching change that is in the works for the IFL. Otto indicated that they are constantly evaluating the performance of the coaches and that there will be some moves made in the coming weeks.

“There are some big announcements coming,” commented the IFL’s commissioner. “We’re going to keep some coaches and change others. There is always room for improvement.”

The New York Pitbulls, coached by Renzo Gracie, look to unseat the two-time champion Quad Cities Silverbacks, coached by Pat Miletich, on Sept. 20 at the IFL World Championship finals in Hollywood, Fla.