Five IFL Athletes Claim World Grand Prix Titles


Schultz Upends Horodecki in Lightweight Final; Nelson, Fabiano, Hieron, Horwich Also Earn Inaugural Belts in Season-Ending Championship Event

UNCASVILLE, Conn., December 29, 2007 – Ryan “The Lion” Schultz (North Platte, Neb.) knocked out previously undefeated 20-year-old Chris “The Polish Hammer” Horodecki (London, Ontario), capping an exciting night of action by winning the lightweight (155-lbs.) 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 belts also took place, including victories by Roy “Big Country” Nelson (Las Vegas) at heavyweight (265-lbs.), Wagnney Fabiano (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at featherweight (145-lbs.), Jay Hieron (Las Vegas) at welterweight (170-lbs.), and Matt Horwich (Portland, Ore.) at middleweight (185-lbs.).

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.

In the first Championship bout of the night, at 265 lbs., Nelson came out swinging against Antoine Jaoude (Rio de Janeiro), eventually scoring a TKO seconds into the second round, to win the heavyweight belt. After nearly finishing off Jaoude near the end of the first round, Nelson kept up the pressure, landing several uncontested punches, resulting in the referee stoppage. Next, Fabiano kept his unbeaten (6-0) IFL record intact by working a submission over L.C. Davis (Kansas City, Mo.) via armbar late in the first round. Long Island, N.Y., native Hieron scored a TKO at the end of the first round to claim the welterweight bout, finishing off Delson Heleno (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) with a ground-and-pound after knocking him to the mat with a right hand. Horwich stunned Benji Radach (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) in the second round of their middleweight bout, knocking out the previously unbeaten Radach after absorbing several blows in the first round.

In three preliminary bouts held prior to the Championship competition, Alex Cook (Whitehaven, England) helped introduce the new British IFL team, coached by Ian Freeman, which will begin competition in 2008, against Marcello Salazar (Portland, Ore./Brazil), with Salazar taking a unanimous decision. Brett Cooper (Long Beach, Calif.), who was selected through the IFL Draft in Los Angeles in October, scored a second-round TKO over Rory Markham (Chicago), who fights out of Pat Miletich’s camp, in a welterweight bout. Undefeated military vet Tim Kennedy (Fayetteville, N.C.), knocked out local standout Elias Rivera (Meriden, Conn.) two minutes into the first round of their middleweight matchup.

About the IFL

International Fight League™ (IFL) has its headquarters in New York and offices in Las Vegas. For more information about IFL, please see:

IFL World Grand PrixMohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.

Preliminary Bouts

185 lbs.: Marcello Salazar, Brazil def. Alex Cook, Whitehaven, England, via decision (unanimous) after three rounds

170 lbs.: Brett Cooper, Long Beach, Calif., def. Rory Markham, Chicago, via TKO (strikes), 1:15, 2nd round

185 lbs.: Tim Kennedy, Fayetteville, N.C., def. Elias Rivera, Meriden, Conn., via KO (strikes), 2:00, 1st

Championship Bouts

265 lbs.: Roy Nelson, Las Vegas, def. Antoine Jaoude, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, via TKO (strikes), 0:20, 2nd

145 lbs.: Wagnney Fabiano, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, def. L.C. Davis, Kansas City, Mo., via submission (armbar), 3:38, 1st

170 lbs.: Jay Hieron, Las Vegas def. Delson Heleno, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, via TKO (injury/strikes), 4:00, 1st

185 lbs.: Matt Horwich, Portland, Ore. def. Benji Radach, Deerfield Beach, Fla., via TKO (strikes/referee stoppage), 1:58, 2nd

155 lbs.: Ryan Schultz, North Platte, Neb. Def. Chris Horodecki, London, Ontario, via TKO (strikes/referee stoppage), 2:51, 1st

Here is a link to video highlights of Saturday’s IFL World Grand Prix finals at Mohegan Sun:

Also here are some individual highlights of Ryan Schultz’s win over Chris Horodecki and Tim Kennedy’s win over Elias Rivera:

Ryan Schultz Press Conference and Highlights

Tim Kennedy Press Conference and Highlights

More links, including several full fights, available at

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About the author

Jerry Milani