by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
So far this IFL season has seen it share of fighters absent their respective team’s 2007 debuts. Fighters like Rory Markham of the Silverbacks, the Anacondas’ Krzystof Soszynski and Mike Whitehead of the Scorpions have all missed time, mainly due to injuries.

And now it appears as if another one of the promotion’s most talented athletes will also be unavailable for his team’s 2007 season opener, and perhaps beyond.

MMAWeekly has confirmed with Toronto Dragon’s lightweight Ivan Menjivar that he will be out for the foreseeable future, starting with the team’s scheduled match-up with the Portland Wolfpack on February 23rd in Atlanta, Georgia.

Menjivar has decided to take extended time off from fighting to heal from various injuries as well as to enjoy some personal time after having an extremely busy 2006, which saw him fight six times, the most he has competed in a single year since 2002.

Taking Ivan’s place on the Dragons will be Wagnney Fabiano, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist with a 4-1 record, whose only loss came in a hotly contested split-decision to MMA veteran Jeff Curran at an Apex show in Canada in October of last year.

Even though Menjivar is taking time off from professional fighting, he will continue to train, teach private lessons and work with his fellow fighters at the Tristar Gym in Quebec, Canada.

Tristar has quickly become one of the premier MMA gyms in Canada as it is also home to the likes of UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre, EliteXC fighter David “The Crow” Loiseau, and the Vigneault brothers, TKO veteran Stephane and UFC 58 participant Steve.