Heavyweight alternate Bryan Vetell will get his chance to compete at the IFL Grand Prix after all as he will replace an injured Reese Andy in the event on November 3rd.
Vetell will be given the fourth seed and will be matched up against Ben Rothwell in the opening round of the tournament.
Andy was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Rothwell after aggravating lingering leg and hand injuries during a recent training session.
The IFL held a conference call earlier today to announce that the first round of the IFL Grand Prix will be televised live on broadcast television as well to reveal the implementation of the inaugural IFL Draft. IFL President Kurt Otto was featured on the call.
Otto began the call by discussing details of the first round of the IFL Grand Prix that will be televised live on November 3rd at 8 PM EST on MyNetworkTV. The show will be one hour long and will show a few of the fights that will be taking place that night. Matchups between lightweights Chris Horodecki and Bart Palaszewski as well as heavyweights Ben Rothwell and Roy Nelson are expected to be televised. Otto said that the final round of the Grand Prix that is scheduled to take place on December 29th may also be possibly televised live as well.
Otto also announced that light heavyweight Mike Ciesnolevicz has been forced to pull out of the Grand Prix after suffering a broken nose in his recent fight against Andre Gusmao at the IFL Championship. Replacing Ciesnolevicz will be Gusmao himself. Gusmao will take on top seeded Vladimir Matyushenko while Mike Whitehead will face off against Alex Schoenauer in the first round.
The IFL will conduct it’s first ever draft during the month of October. The draft will consist of three separate tryout sessions set to take place in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago on October 13th, October 20th, and October 27th respectively. Fighters looking to try out must be at least 18 years of age and must have one professional MMA fight under their belt.
Otto discussed newly named President and COO Jay Larkin and the impact that he will have on the company coming over from Showtime.
Other things of note that Otto discussed were:
- The fact that Otto prefers the new Saturday night time slot compared to Monday nights. He said that the IFL is instead featured in a prime time TV slot and that they don’t have to compete with Monday Night Football any longer.
- Otto stated that some of the teams will be relocating to new cities or countries for next season. He also said that there will be a few coaching changes as well. When asked if he already found a replacement for departing Los Angeles head coach Shawn Tompkins, Otto said “maybe”.
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez will replace an injured Tim Sauer for the New York Pitbulls and will take on Ben Rothwell in the IFL World Team Championships this Thursday night.
Rothwell is undefeated in 8 fights so far in the IFL. During that span he has racked up wins over Krzysztof Soszynski, Bryan Vetell, Devin Cole, Wojtek Kaszowski, Matt Thompson, Roy Nelson, and Travis Fulton.
Rodriguez has won 12 out of his last 14 fights since his departure from the UFC, his two losses coming at the hands of Ron Waterman and Robert Beraun. Rodriguez avenged the loss to Waterman at WFA: King of the Streets last summer. Rodriguez owns victories over former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski, Paul Buentello, Jeff Monson, and current UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture.
Rodriguez will certainly be Rothwell’s biggest test yet in the IFL.
News and Notes
- Rory Markham will not be participating in the Quad Cities Silverbacks’s IFL season opener because of him recovering from laser eye surgery…
“What I had in my eye is what they call a 3% retinal hole,” said Rory. “[They call it 3%] because that’s how big the hole was. It’s impact induced, so it’s from getting hit in the eye over the course of the last couple of months.
It can lead to a retinal detachment eventually, which is a very serious injury that sometimes leads to blindness,” exclaimed Rory. “Luckily I caught it early enough in stage one, that’s the earliest you can catch it.”
Markham continued, “I went in, they welded it up, and the IFL paid for it. They [the IFL] made good on their promise to insure us as fighters, which I can do nothing but thank them for that.”
- Krzysztof Soszynski has pulled out of his matchup against Ben Rothwell next weekend because of an injury he suffered while training last week.
- Kid Yamamoto suffered an arm injury during his 2007 Emperor’s Cup semi-final match and will not be able to compete to make Japan’s Olympic wrestling team…