Dana White. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In a move that seems all too typical these days, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is reportedly in discussions to purchase the almost-defunct International Fight League for a price estimated around $1 million.
The news comes from MMA Payout, which has cited a senior producer of HDNet’s “Inside MMA” program as a source, and has since been confirmed by Sam Caplan at Five Ounces of Pain. According to Caplan, a deal has not yet been finalized but Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, is indeed attempting to complete an acquisition of the New York-based promotion that has fallen on hard times over the past year.
The UFC’s potential acquisition of the IFL will likely be similar to the UFC’s purchase of the World Fighting Alliance in 2006, where the UFC acquired select fighter contracts and the available video library while the WFA agreed to cease operations.IFL Senior Vice President of Communications Joe Favorito reportedly declined to comment when asked about the potential sale.
Even though UFC President Dana White has been extremely critical of the IFL and it’s methods in the past, his promotion could benefit greatly by adding some of the talent currently under contract with the IFL. In fact, after IFL officials publicly announced that it intended to keep those fighters under contract with them as active as possible by having them fight for other organizations, the UFC acquired a slew of former IFL fighters - Brad Blackburn, Reese Andy, and Rory Markham will also be fighting for the UFC this weekend for starters.
There are still a number of fighters that the UFC could be and should be interesting in acquiring. Chris Horodecki, Jim Miller, Waggney Fabiano, Roy Nelson, Ryan Schultz, and the UFC returns of Jay Hieron and Vladimir Matyushenko could certainly make things interesting in both the UFC and WEC. Here’s to hoping that if the purchase goes down, the UFC does indeed opt to bring the majority of these fighters into the fold.
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