NEW YORK - IFL titleholders Matt Horwich, Roy Nelson and Ryan Schultz will defend their belts when the International Fight League opens its 2008 schedule with an eight-bout card at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Friday, February 29.
In addition to the three Championship bouts, team competition will feature Matt Lindland?‘s Team Quest vs. Ken Shamrock?‘s Lions Den and Team Xtreme Couture vs. Mario Sperry?‘s MMA Top Team.
Horwich, who claimed the middleweight title with a victory over Benji Radach at the IFL World Grand Prix on December 29, will defend his crown against Tim Kennedy who won all three of his IFL matchups in 2007 with first or second-round finishes.
Nelson, who knocked out Antoine Jaoude to win the heavyweight crown, will take on IFL newcomer Fabiano Scherner, who trains with Lindland at Team Quest. Schultz, whose lightweight victory over Chris Horodecki raised eyebrows in the entire MMA community, makes the first defense of his lightweight belt against John Gunderson, who competes for the Lions Den.
?“This card is a good example of how the flexibility of our new format makes for great matchups,? said IFL Commissioner Kurt Otto. ?Fans will get to see three Championship bouts, plus some exciting team competition feeding some of our upcoming title fights.?”
Provided by IFL. Getty Images.
UNCASVILLE - Ryan ?“The Lion? Schultz” knocked out previously undefeated 20-year-old Chris ?“The Polish Hammer”? Horodecki, capping off an exciting night of action with Schultz winning the lightweight championship at the inaugural International Fight League World Grand Prix finals, held tonight in front of 5,731 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Four other championship fights also took place, including victories by Roy ?“Big Country” Nelson at heavyweight, Wagnney Fabiano at featherweight, Jay Hieron at welterweight, and Matt Horwich at middleweight.
The five championships were the most ever contested on one night in North American MMA history.
Schultz took control early in the first round and continued to pound Horodecki before the referee stepped in late in the round to stop the bout. Schultz had been named a late replacement in the title bout after injuries to Horodecki?‘s previous two opponents.
We will be going live at 7:30 PM EST with live results of the IFL World Grand Prix Finals which are taking place this evening at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
The event features three preliminary bouts and five title fights including a rematch between Ryan Schultz and lightweight phenom Chris Horodecki for the IFL Lightweight Title.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the night.
Live results are shown after the jump.
Photos courtesy of the IFL.
The official weigh-in results for tomorrow night’s IFL Grand Prix Finals are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
Chris Horodecki (153 lbs) vs. Ryan Schultz (153 lbs)
Benji Radach (184 lbs) vs Matt Horwich (183 lbs)
Jay Hieron (168 lbs) vs. Delson Heleno (168 lbs)
Roy Nelson (258 lbs) vs. Antoine Jaoude (253 lbs)
L.C. Davis (143 lbs) vs. Wagnney Fabiano (144 lbs)
Marcello Salazar (180 lbs) vs. Alex Cook (180 lbs)
Brett Cooper (169 lbs) vs. Rory Markham (170 lbs)
Elias Rivera (181 lbs) vs. Tim Kennedy (186 lbs)