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.”
Larkin also stated that he had preliminary discussions in the past with EliteXC figurehead Gary Shaw about possibly sharing talent, but hadn’t spoken with him in months due to Shaw’s obligations with EliteXC’s network debut on CBS last month. Larkin’s current plan involves keeping those fighters under contract with the IFL as active as possible by having them fight for other organizations.
The IFL wouldn’t charge any sort of fee for sending their fighter to fight in another show and also intends to consider releasing a contracted fighter if they receive a lucrative-enough offer from another outside promotion. While the IFL’s decision to let their fighters fight in other shows for the time being shows the amount of class they have as an organization, they don’t have much of a choice while they attempt to restructure and stay in business.
The call for the most part was very gloomy. Larkin was severely lacking confidence while fielding questions about the current state and future of the sport of mixed martial arts in today’s world. His demeanor was evident when asked about the IFL’s future itself as well.
“To be honest, I don’t know what’s going to happen at this point,” Larkin said. “We’re going to do everything we can to make the right decisions moving forward and I hope everything works out for the best.”
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