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  1. --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    International Fight League trading punches and ownership stock

    International Fight League trading punches and ownership stock

    November 29, 2006

    By Maurice Dixon SportsTicker Boxing Editor

    NEW YORK (Ticker) - Whether you like trading punches or trading stocks, the International Fight League is for you.

    Borrowing elements from boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts, the IFL is a rapidly growing circuit with a couple of new quirks. The league has individuals competing for teams rather than themselves, and its fans can do more than follow the sport - they can own part of it.

    On Wednesday, the IFL went public. While its logo is a fist, its trade symbol on the stock exchange is IFLI.

    Co-founder and CEO Gareb Shamus believes the financial formula will further advance the popularity of all mixed martial arts, which has worked hard to erase the unfair "human cockfight" label it initially received from some overtly civilized folk, most notably Arizona Senator and potential presidential candidate John McCain.

    But Shamus also was looking for something to differentiate the IFL from the Ultimate Fighting Championships and Pride Fighting Championships, which feature individuals such as Tito Ortiz testing their manhood.

    Shamus' blueprint has 1-on-1 bouts within a team concept, similar to amateur wrestling meets.

    "Everyone has taken the boxing motto," he said. "We didn't want to copy that. We wanted to bring out the strength of the team sport."

    "(It's) the best idea since pockets," said Pat Miletich, coach of the Moline (Illinois) Silverbacks, one of the IFL's teams.

    By going public, IFL fans could be lining their pockets. In any form, MMA has become a far more entertaining forum than boxing, whose "best" bouts come at a premium on pay-per-view television and often leave fight fans feeling frustrated.

    Working with state regulatory commissions, MMA has over the years eliminated some of the gruesome aspect of its sport with the "tap-out" rule, weight classes and well-conceived matchups that have a growing fan base far more satisfied with the product.

    With fellow majority owner and IFL commissioner Kurt Otto, Shamus has taken the IFL several steps further, most notably with the team concept.

    Each team has five members representing one weight class from lightweight to heavyweight, with each bout lasting three four-minute rounds and the first team to win three bouts claiming the contest. Meets will feature four teams paired off plus a "Superfight," which guarantees fans 11 bouts per card.

    "Excitement is in the air," said Shamus, who also founded an award-winning magazine publishing house. "People are glued to their seats for two to three hours because they know how important it is to watch every fight."

    Where most MMA can only be seen on pay-per-view, the IFL has secured a TV contract with Fox Sports Net. It also is trying to succeed where other individual combat sports have failed by providing health insurance and a fixed schedule, which allows fighters to free themselves from the hassles of working full-time jobs while trying to train part-time.

    "I had to work 40-plus hours as a truck driver while being a loan officer on the side," said Seattle Tigersharks welterweight Brad Blackburn, a 29-year-old freestyle fighter. "(with that schedule), you can't give the sport as much as it needs at this level."

    There are other differences as well. IFL bouts will be scored by judges and will not be decided by submission or knockout. The matches will be held in an oversized five-rope ring, an amalgamation of MMA's caged "octagon" and boxing's squared circle.

    Those looking for the spurts of blood or cracked ribs that occasionally occur in UFC and Pride may be disappointed. The IFL has outlawed the use of headbutts and elbows, which have the potential to produce a bloody brawl.

    "No elbows. Not a big adjustment, but an adjustment," Blackburn said. "You have too many fights ending from cuts, guys winning off of cuts, which doesn't necessarily decide who's the better fighter."

    The IFL has signed sponsorship deals with Coca Cola's Vault energy drink, Dale and Thomas Popcorn, Suzuki motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles and Microsoft's Xbox, which can be clearly identified on the ring's canvas. It also has a partnership with the William Morris Agency, one of the country's largest representation firms.

    The fledgling league will crown its first champion December 29, when the Silverbacks meet the Portland Wolfpack at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, an event officials say is nearing capacity. The winning team receives championship rings.

    "The ring is a mark of a true champion," Shamus said. "It promotes the team aspect."

    The IFL on Wednesday also announced its 11-date schedule for 2007 that includes 10 Americans teams plus squads from Toronto and Tokyo. After nine regular-season meet dates, the top four teams advance to the semifinals in August and the winners meeting for the first IFL championship in September.

    As for next month's World Team Championship, Miletich feels his team has the edge, while Blackburn believes it is too close to call.

    "We have better strikers (punchers)," Miletich said. "My guys are a little more experienced and well-rounded."

    "I wouldn't put my money on either team," Blackburn said.

    Perhaps he is saving it to invest in the IFL.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/box/news;_yl...v=st&type=lgns

    This will be most interesting, hopefully the IFL can use this method to successfully raise some revenue to improve the quality of their events and increase fighter purses.

  2. feral is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/30/2006 6:11pm


     Style: Muay Thai

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I like the idea of leagues for fighting sports, I'm hoping it would cure the inflated record syndrome that seems to occur in boxing, where a fighter only accepts fights he thinks he will win. In a league you play X teams each year, and its considered a forfiet if you back out of the the 'game' last minute.
  3. HearWa is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/30/2006 7:26pm


     Style: Sub-wrestling, mostly...

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Where do the people who are going to be competing in this from Toronto train?
  4. roly is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/30/2006 8:32pm


     Style: judo, karate, jap jj

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    "There are other differences as well. IFL bouts will be scored by judges and will not be decided by submission or knockout"

    THIS BOTHERS ME
  5. alex is offline
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    STOP POSTING!

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    Posted On:
    11/30/2006 8:47pm

    supporting member
     Style: Muay Thai

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    so wait if someone is winning a fight then gets knocked the **** out they still win? thats bullshit. what about fighters who start slow and ramp it up as they go?
  6. Goju - Joe is offline
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    I am a Ninja bitches!! Deal with it

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    Posted On:
    11/30/2006 9:08pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: Improv comedy

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The writer is wrong people win by submission and knock outs
  7. OZZ is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/30/2006 9:41pm

    supporting member
     Style: Short Fist Boxing

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I have been watching this since it began. It is not bad..and, yes..plenty of fights are won by submission and knockout.
    " If one wants to have a friend one must also want to wage war for him: and to wage war one must be capable of being an enemy." - Fr. Nietzsche 'On The Friend' Thus Spake Zarathustra
  8. Cassius is online now
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    Posted On:
    11/30/2006 10:11pm

    supporting memberforum leader
     Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    For those that are curious, the stock symbol for the IFL is actually IFLI.OB .
    "No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
  9. Ridge is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/01/2006 12:00am


     Style: Boxing/Wrestling

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    http://www.ifl.tv/content.aspx?id=38
    According to this knockouts and submissions are ways to win, but in this article they aren't so wtf?
  10. Schattenfaust is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/02/2006 9:31pm


     Style: Wrestling and Boxing

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It could be a mistake, or that the IFL revised the rules after that article.
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