Tokyo, Los Angeles Entries Remain Unbeaten, Clinch Playoff Berths As Largest Washington MMA/Boxing Crowd Watches

EVERETT, Wash., June 1, 2007 – The Tokyo Sabres and Los Angeles Anacondas remained unbeaten and clinched International Fight League playoff berths with team victories tonight before 6,977 at the Everett Events Center, the largest crowd ever to see a boxing or mixed martial arts event in the state of Washington. The Sabres defeated the Portland Wolfpack, 3-2, and the Anacondas also won by a 3-2 verdict over the host Seattle Tiger Sharks, in the final regular-season matches for each team.

With the win, the Sabres (3-0, 9-6) and Anacondas (3-0, 11-4) have qualified for the four-team IFL Playoffs, which will be contested on August 2 (semifinals, E. Rutherford, N.J.) and September 15 (finals). The Wolfpack (1-2, 7-8) and Tiger Sharks (1-2, 8-7) were eliminated from playoff consideration with the loss.

In the first matchup, heavyweights Orville Palmer (Norman, Okla.) of the Sabres and Devin Cole (Medford, Ore.) of the Wolfpack battled it out for three rounds in an entertaining start to the night, with Palmer gaining the split decision. Matt Horwich (Gresham, Ore.) knocked out Kazuhiro Hamanaka (Tokyo) with a first round head kick in the middleweight bout to even the score at 1-1. Vladimir Matyushenko (Rechisa, Belarus) gave the Sabres a 2-1 edge with a first-round TKO over Aaron Stark (Portland, Ore.) in a battle of light heavyweights. Antonio McKee (Lakewood, Calif.) clinched the win in the welterweight bout by earning a unanimous decision over Mike Dolce (Belmar, N.J.). Ryan Schultz (North Platte, Neb.) returned the favor for the Wolfpack, gaining a unanimous lightweight verdict over Savant Young (Pasadena, Calif.) for the final 3-2 margin.

In the nightcap, Benji Radach (Coconut Creek, Fla.) got the Anacondas off to a quick start with a first-round TKO over Bristol Marunde (Sequim, Wash.). In one of the most entertaining bouts in IFL history, lightweights Chris Horodecki (London, Ontario) and Shad Lierley (Seattle), slugged it out for three rounds, eliciting several standing ovations, with Horodecki remaining unbeaten with a unanimous decision to double the Anacondas’ advantage to 2-0. Brad Blackburn (Olympia, Wash.) stunned Jay Hieron (Las Vegas) to win the welterweight bout with a first-round TKO, drawing the hosts to within 2-1. Alex Schoenauer (Las Vegas) gave the Anacondas the win with a first-round TKO over Allan Goes (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).Reese Andy (Billings, Mont.) took a split decision from the Anacondas’ Krzysztof Soszynski (Winnipeg, Manitoba) in the heavyweight bout to complete the scoring at 3-2, L.A.

In the preliminary bouts which preceded the regular team competition, Jason Palacios (San Antonio, Texas) of the Sabres scored a first-round submission victory via rear naked choke over the Wolfpack’s Ian Loveland (Gresham, Ore.). The Anacondas’ Conor Heun (Los Angeles) followed with a submission triumph over Tristan Wit (Seattle) of the Tiger Sharks, finishing an armbar with one second left in the first round.

The IFL next visits the Las Vegas Hilton, where the final playoff positions will be determined as the Toronto Dragons battle the New York Pitbulls and the host Nevada Lions take on the Tucson Scorpions.

About the IFL

International Fight League™ (IFL) is the world’s first professional mixed martial arts sports league. IFL has its headquarters in New York and offices in Las Vegas. For more information about IFL, please see:

International Fight LeagueEverett Events Center, Everett, Wash., June 1, 2007

Sabres (3-0 team, 9-6 indiv.) def. Wolfpack (1-2, 7-8), 3-2265 lb.: Orville Palmer, Sabres, def. Devin Cole, Wolfpack, via decision (split), after 3 rounds

185 lb.: Matt Horwich, Wolfpack, def. Kazuhiro Hamanaka, Sabres, via knockout (kick), 2:07, 1st205 lb.: Vladimir Matyushenko, Sabres, def. Aaron Stark, Wolfpack via TKO (strikes), 2:49, 1st170 lb.: Antonio McKee, Sabres def. Mike Dolce, Wolfpack, via decision (unanimous), after 3 rounds155 lb.: Ryan Schultz, Wolfpack, def. Savant Young, Sabres, via decision (unanimous), after 3 rounds

Anacondas (3-0, 11-4) def. Tiger Sharks (1-2, 8-7), 3-2185 lb.: Benji Radach, Anacondas def. Bristol Marunde, Tiger Sharks, via TKO (strikes), 1:28, 1st155 lb.: Chris Horodecki, Anacondas, def. Shad Lierley, Tiger Sharks, via decision (unanimous), after 3 rounds170 lb.: Brad Blackburn, Tiger Sharks, def. Jay Hieron, Anacondas, via TKO (strikes), 0:40, 1st205 lb.: Alex Schoenauer, Anacondas def. Allan Goes, Tiger Sharks, via TKO (strikes), 3:00, 1st265 lb.: Reese Andy, Tiger Sharks, def. Krzysztof Soszynski, Anacondas, via decision (split) after 3 rounds

Preliminary Bouts155 lb.: Jason Palacios, Sabres, def. Ian Loveland, Wolfpack, via submission (rear naked choke), 1:48, 1st155 lb.: Conor Heun, Anacondas, def. Tristan Wit, Tiger Sharks, via submission (armbar), 3:59, 1st

IFL Standings Through June 1Team Overall Match xAnacondas 3-0 11-4 xSabres 3-0 9-6 Pitbulls 2-0 7-3 Silverbacks 2-1 9-6zCondors 2-1 8-7 Dragons 1-1 6-4Lions 1-1 4-6 zTiger Sharks 1-2 8-7zWolfpack 1-2 7-8 zScorpions 0-2 3-7zRazorclaws 0-3 4-11zRed Bears 0-3 4-11

x clinched Playoff spotz eliminated from Playoff contention

TechGasp Comments Master

About the author

Jerry Milani