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”.