Jay Larkin

IFL Scraps August Show; Trouble Looms

Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.

The International Fight League announced earlier this afternoon that they have opted to cancel their scheduled August 15th event at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ, in light of the company’s current financial condition which is looking very bad at the moment according to company officials.

The event was rumored to be featuring title defenses by current IFL champions Vladimir Matyushenko and Ryan Schultz as well as the participation of lightweight standout Chris Horodecki and the debut of the IFL’s new six-sided ring called “The Hex”. A future date for the show to potentially take place in the future was not announced.

The organization will now apparently explore options that would have it essentially saved by investors interested in pumping money into the company. However if they aren’t found in the near future, it seems that the IFL will seek protection from its creditors through the courts and pretty much shut down for good.

Because a date for another event is not even on IFL officials minds at this point, the fighters under contract to the promotion will now have the option of fighting in other organizations while the IFL attempts to save itself. It will also continue to downsize its staff to reduce operating costs.

On a conference call this afternoon with the media, IFL CEO Jay Larkin expressed his desire to partner or work with a number of other organizations currently still successfully running, namely EliteXC and Strikeforce who have both made great strides in securing television deals over the last year, one of Larkin’s sticking points throughout the call.

“We’re open to anything as of right now,” Larkin said. “We’d definitely be willing to partner up with another organization in order to work together and continue to put on the IFL brand of product that has made us so well-liked within the MMA community. In order to do so, we’d want a partner that has a solid financial base and an existing television deal, without the television deal these days, it’s becoming harder and harder to promote your product to the fans.”

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HDNet to Televise IFL Grand Prix on Dec 29

NEW YORK - The International Fight League and HDNet Fights today announced that the 2007 World Grand Prix Finals will be televised live from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, on HDNet on Saturday, December 29, starting at 9:30 p.m. EST.

This will mark the first collaboration between the IFL, which is completing its first full season of operation, and HDNet Fights. It will also mark the first-ever live IFL broadcast in HD. The regular IFL broadcast team of Kenny Rice, Bas Rutten and Ron Kruck will call the action.

?“We are very pleased to be able to offer our fans around the country this special event live and in HD for the first time”,? said IFL President and COO Jay Larkin. “?Our first live television event on November 3 received great reviews, and we think this event, with an unprecedented five titles on the line, may be the MMA event of the year.?”

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Shamus Resigns; Larkin Named IFL CEO

NEW YORK - The International Fight League, the world?s number one team-based professional mixed martial arts league, today announced a change in its senior leadership, naming Jay Larkin acting Chief Executive Officer.

Larkin, who had joined the IFL as President and Chief Operating Officer on September 21, 2007, replaces IFL co-founder Gareb Shamus, who resigned his positions as chairman and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Shamus will remain available to the IFL as a consultant.

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IFL Grand Prix Conference Call Notes

The IFL held a conference call with the media earlier this afternoon to promote this weekend’s opening round of the IFL Grand Prix, which will take place at at the Sears Center in Chicago. A portion of the event will be televised live on MyNetworkTV at 9 PM EST.

IFL President and Chief Operating Officer Jay Larkin was on hand to answer the media’s questions.

Larkin noted that the IFL will do away with the teams being attached to cities, citing that putting on events between two teams in neutral cities didn’t make much sense. The teams will now focus more on their name and head coach as well the gym the coach runs, if he has one. Larkin stated that the look of the league will look dramatically different compared to this past season.

The IFL is still in talks with MyNetworkTV about a television deal in 2008 but those negotiations are nearly complete. There aren’t currently any plans to have the final round of the Grand Prix televised live. Larkin also said that the IFL will announce a new television deal with a Canadian network tomorrow. The network will televise two hours of the Grand Prix. Larkin is also currently in talks with HBO concerning a television deal in the future.

Larkin said that he will not be at the Grand Prix because he is required to attend an HBO boxing event taking place overseas this weekend. He also said that he did not understand UFC President Dana White’s criticism of boxing officials even though he hired, Marc Ratner, a long-time boxing official, to be the UFC’s vice president.

There were no remarks made in terms of new coaches being hired or coaches being replaced. Larkin said those announcements will come at a later date. When asked about the possibility of hiring Randy Couture as a coach in the IFL, Larkin said that he would be interested but wouldn’t approach anything until all of the “dust” settles concerning Couture’s situation right now. Larkin also said that Couture is still under contract with the UFC so it wouldn’t be possible anyway.

Other Notes:

The IFL will stay with a ring for next season, no plans to use a cage. The idea of eliminating the heavyweight division and adding a featherweight division is being discussed. No new news in terms of Kurt Angle signing with the IFL. Ben Rothwell is still with the IFL and will be ringside at the Grand Prix. Several IFL stars will be on hand at various locations throughout the city of Chicago to sign autographs today and tomorrow. Televised matchups for Saturday night will include Benji Radach vs Brent Beauparlant, Chris Horodecki vs Bart Palaszewski, Vladimir Matyushenko vs Alex Schoenauer.