Jim Miller landing a punch on Bart Palaszewski. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
The International Fight League returned to the Izod Center in New Jersey tonight, presenting what may very well have been the deepest fight card in the promotion’s history. It turned out to be very exciting night of fights that included some massive knockouts along with a vicious submission toward the end of the night.
With the IFL just opening up the lower level of the Izod Center while curtaining the upper, it looked like a great venue. It was set up a bit differently than the last time the IFL was in town for the League semi-finals last August. And while the crowd ended up filling 2/3 of the bottom bowl, it was a good deal less than last year’s. The theme of the night within the crowd seemed to be cheering for the underdog, as each had some very vocal supporters in the crowd. To my happiness, I had the pleasure of sitting next to some extremely knowledgeable fans who really knew and appreciated the sport. Thankfully, I didn’t have to sit next to the guy 3 sections over screaming “use the elbows!”, something that is illegal in the IFL. I’d like to thank Drew and friends for their conversation and knowledge of the sport. On to the action!
Chris Horodecki and Shad Lierley weigh-in for an IFL event in June 2007. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
The International Fight League earlier today announced details for their upcoming East Rutherford, NJ event, which will take place at the IZOD Center on April 4th.
Three title fights are scheduled to headline the card. IFL light heavyweight champion Vladimir Matyushenko will make his first title defense against New Jersey native Jamal Patterson. Popular welterweight champion and Xtreme Couture product Jay Hieron will attempt to keep his belt around his waist when he goes up against former U.S. Marine Mark Miller.
Upstart Shad Lierley, who made headlines after going toe-to-toe with lightweight sensation Chris Horodecki last year, will drop down to the featherweight division in exchange for a shot against current title holder Wagnney Fabiano, who submitted L.C. Davis this past December to grab the vacant belt.
Horodecki is also expected to return to action at the event, currently against an opponent yet to be named.
The nine-fight card will feature matchups between four different camps. Fighters from Renzo Gracie’s Academy will take on athletes from Midwest Combat while American Top Team will make it’s IFL debut against martial artists from the renowned Miletich Fighting Systems.
“I like the local feel of this card,? said IFL Vice President Bas Rutten. “?In addition to three outstanding championship bouts, featuring fighters from New York and New Jersey, you have Renzo Gracie?‘s camp, which was the champion last year, Midwest Combat, which features our top fighters from the Chicago area, and great battles with the Miletich camp and American Top Team, who we are very excited to have on board.?”
Miletich fighters Rory Markham and Mike Ciesnolevicz will go up against American Top Team’s Emyr Bussade and Lew Polley respectively. L.C. Davis will also likely compete for Pat Miletich as well.
A lightweight clash between Deividas Taurosevicius and Bart ?Palaszewski is the only announced battle between Renzo Gracie’s Academy and Midwest Combat as of right now. Skilled welterweight Delson Heleno will also represent Renzo Gracie on the card.
Vladimir Matyushenko throws a left hand at Tim Boetsch. Photo provided by IFL. Getty Images.
IFL light heavyweight champion Vladimir Matyushenko may defend his title for the first time against jiu-jitsu stylist Jamal Patterson when the IFL travels to New Jersey for an event on April 4th.
The news comes from Brian Knapp of The Fight Network who confirmed the possibility with representatives from the IFL.
Matyushenko won the IFL light heavyweight belt this past October when he defeated Alex Schoenauer by unanimous decision in the only bout included in the light heavyweight portion of the IFL Grand Prix. “The Janitor” remains undefeated in the IFL, owning wins over Tim Boetsch, Aaron Stark, Justin Levens, and Dwayne Compton as well.
Patterson has actually fought at heavyweight and middleweight inside the confines of the IFL before finally settling at 205 lbs. All of Patterson’s career fights have come within the IFL. He owns wins over Chris Baten, Alex Schoenauer, and Reese Andy. He also defeated current IFL middleweight champion Matt Horwich twice.