September 20, 2007

Press Release by Ben Fowlkes for IFL.tv
HOLLYWOOD, FLA. – All fighters successfully made weight at the Seminole Hard Rock Wednesday afternoon. With four preliminary bouts in addition to the five team fights slated for tonight, the 2007 World Team Championships got the green light from the state athletic commission.

Many in the crowd of onlookers seemed most curious about the heavyweight contest between Ben Rothwell and former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez. Rodriguez, who weighed in at 252.5 pounds, seemed in good shape for the bout with the IFL’s top heavyweight.

“I’ve known Ricco since he was a blue belt,” N.Y. Pitbulls coach Renzo Gracie said of his newest team member. “He was training for a fight and it fell through, so when I heard Tom [Sauer] was hurt, it was an easy decision for me to get him.”

Gracie said he expects the fight to be an exciting one, but allowed that due to Rothwell’s power and Rodriguez’s ground prowess it was difficult to tell where the bout might be decided.

“I’m hoping it goes to the ground,” said Gracie. “I’m begging Ricco to take it to the ground in the first minute.”

In the preliminary bouts, Pitbull Jamal Patterson is scheduled to face Chris Baten, who looked extremely muscular and well-conditioned on the scales. Also in attendance was the Wolfpack’s Ryan Schultz, along with coach Matt Lindland, and Seattle Tiger Shark Brad Blackburn, with his coach Maurice Smith.

The event gets started Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The event is scheduled to air this Sunday, Sept. 23, on Fox Sports Net, and the following night on MyNetworkTV’s “IFL Battleground”.

Full results from Wednesday’s weigh-in appear below:

Quad Cities Silverbacks vs. N.Y. Pitbulls
Jake Ellenberger (169.75) vs. Delson Heleno (169.75)
Bart Palaszewski (155.5) vs. Deividas Taurosevicius (154.75)
Ben Rothwell (264.25) vs. Ricco Rodriguez (252.5)
Ryan McGivern (184.5) vs. Fabio Leopoldo (184.5)
Mike Ciesnolevicz (205.25) vs. Andre Gusmao (204.5)

Preliminary Bouts
Jamal Patterson (205.75) vs. Chris Baten (205.5)
Rolles Gracie (233.75) vs. Sam Holloway (238.5)
Brad Blackburn (170.5) vs. Travis Cox (170)
Ryan Schultz (154) vs. Aaron Riley (155.5)