SABRES, ANACONDAS WIN INTERNATIONAL FIGHT LEAGUE SEASON OPENERS IN HOUSTON
Matt Lindland Wins Superfight; Horodecki Decisions Palaszewski To Clinch Win for Anacondas over Defending Champion Silverbacks
HOUSTON, February 2, 2007- The Tokyo-based Sabres, led by Ken Yasuda and Los Angeles-based Anacondas, coached by Bas Rutten, won their respective season-opening International Fight League matchups today in front of 4,531 at Reliant Arena in Houston. Matt Lindland, coach of the Portland-based Wolfpack submitted Carlos Newton, Toronto-based Dragons’ coach in the “Superfight” which followed the team matchups.
The Sabres won, 3-2, over the Scorpions, coached by Don Frye and based in Tucson, while the Anacondas upended the defending IFL World Team Champion Silverbacks, led by Pat Miletich, by the same 3-2 count.
Lindland earned the victory with a second-round submission, taking out Newton with a series of punches to the face, backing Newton into the corner before dropping to the ground for the guillotine choke to finish the match.
The Houston card marked the first event in the Southwest for the IFL (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s first team-based professional mixed martial arts league, and is part of the full 11-event IFL 2007 schedule, the most comprehensive advance schedule in the history of fight sports.
In the first matchup, Antonio McKee (Long Beach, Calif.) got the Sabres (1-0) off to a good start with a TKO victory over Gabe Rivas (Tucson, Ariz.), when he delivered a kick to Rivas’ midsection which sent the Scorpions’ (0-1) welterweight crumbling to the mat with a leg injury. The referee immediately stopped the bout and Rivas left under his own power. Light heavyweight Vladimir Matyushenko (Retchisa, Belarus) pushed the Sabres’ advantage to 2-0 with a first-round submission victory over Dwayne Compton (Tucson, Ariz.), gaining a side mount and converting the armbar, from which Compton could not escape. Scorpions’ heavyweight Chad Griggs (Tucson, Ariz.) pulled his team within 2-1 with a third-round TKO triumph over John Marsh in a hard-hitting bout. Lightweight Savant Young (Pasadena, Calif.) clinched the victory for the Sabres with a hard-fought unanimous decision over Ed West (Tucson, Ariz.) in an entertaining battle. Matt Ver Halen scored a lightweight victory by unanimousdecision over scrappy Masaaki Izena (Tokyo) for the final 3-2 margin.
In the highly-anticipated battle between the Anacondas (1-0) and Silverbacks (0-1), heavyweight Ben Rothwell (Kenosha, Wis.) struck first blood for the defending champs, registering a second-round TKO over a game Matt Thompson (Austin, Texas), who served as a replacement for the Anacondas’ regular at the spot, Krzysztof Soszynski. In the welterweight bout, Jay Hieron (Las Vegas, Nev.) battled past another alternate, Victor Moreno (Des Moines, Iowa) to even the match with a first-round submission by rear naked choke. Moreno fought in place of Rory Markham, who was out with an eye injury. Anacondas middleweight Benji Radach (Longview, Wash.) took a slugfest from Ryan McGivern (Bettendorf, Iowa), landing a series of punches to finish off the TKO at 2:22 of the second round. The much-hyped lightweight battle between Chris Horodecki (London, Ontario) of the Anacondas and Bart Palaszewski (Wonderlake, Ill.) of the Silverbacks was everything fans expected, with Horodecki taking a splitdecision to secure the team victory for Rutten’s squad. Light heavyweight Mike Ciesnolevicz (Williamstown, Pa.) took a split decision from Alex Schoenauer (Las Vegas, Nev.), completing the scoring.
The IFL next moves to the Gwinnett Center in suburban Atlanta, where the Dragons (Toronto), coached by Newton, take on the Wolfpack (Portland), coached by Lindland, and the Red Bears (Chicago), led by Igor Zinoviev, battle the Pitbulls (New York), led by Renzo Gracie. Popular MMA veterans Robbie Lawler and Eduardo Pamplona will match up in the “Superfight” following the team competition.
The IFL is the world’s first team-based professional mixed martial arts league. Each of the 12 IFL teams for 2007 will compete in three regular season events; the teams with the top four overall win-loss team records will advance to the semi-finals, which will be held on Thursday, August 2, 2007 at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J. The 2007 IFL Finals will then be held at The Forum in Los Angeles on Saturday, September 15, 2007.
The 10 venues for the 2007 season (The Forum in Los Angeles will host two events) will scale to between 7,000 and 13,000 seats, which has been consistent with the IFL’s plan of managed growth.
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, NY and offices in Las Vegas, NV. For more information about IFL, please see: www.ifl.tv
International Fight LeagueReliant Arena, Houston, February 2, 2007Sabres (Tokyo) def. Scorpions (Tucson), 3-2WW/170 – Antonio McKee, Sabres, def. Gabe Rivas, Scorpions, via TKO (injury), 3:29, 2ndLH/205 – Vladimir Matyushenko, Sabres, def. Dwayne Compton, Scorpions, via submission (armbar), 1:47, 1stHW/265 – Chad Griggs, Scorpions, def. John Marsh, Sabres, via TKO (ref stoppage/strikes), 2:32, 3rdLW/155 – Savant Young, Sabres def. Ed West, Scorpions, via decision (unanimous) after 3 roundsLW/155 (alt.) – Matt Ver Halen, Scorpions, def. Masaaki Izena, Sabres, via decision (unanimous) after 3 rounds
Anacondas (Los Angeles) def. Silverbacks (Quad Cities), 3-2HW/265 – Ben Rothwell, Silverbacks, def. Matt Thompson, Anacondas, via TKO (strikes), 1:47, 2ndWW/170 – Jay Hieron, Anacondas, def. Victor Moreno, Silverbacks, via submission (rear naked choke), 1:55, 1stMW/185 – Benji Radach, Anacondas, def. Ryan McGivern, Silverbacks, via TKO (ref stoppage/strikes), 2:22, 2ndLW/155 – Chris Horodecki, Anacondas def. Bart Palaszewski, Silverbacks, via decision (split) after 3 roundsLH/205 – Mike Ciesnolevicz, Silverbacks, def. Alex Schoenauer, Anacondas, via decision (split) after 3 rounds
SuperfightMW/185: Matt Lindland def. Carlos Newton, via submission (guillotine choke), 1:43, 2nd
IFL Standings Through Feb. 2Team Overall MatchAnacondas 1-0 3-2Condors 1-0 3-2Lions 1-0 3-2Sabres 1-0 3-2Dragons 0-0 0-0Wolfpack 0-0 0-0Pitbulls 0-0 0-0Red Bears 0-0 0-0Razorclaws 0-1 2-3Scorpions 0-1 2-3Silverbacks 0-1 2-3Tiger Sharks 0-1 2-3
Special Awards(Sabres vs. Scorpions)Best KO – Antonio McKee, SabresBest submission – Vladimir Matyushenko, SabresFastest finish – Vladimir Matyushenko, SabresMost exciting fight – Masaaki Izena, Sabres, vs. Matt Ver Halen
(Anacondas vs.Silverbacks)Best KO – Benji Radach, AnacondasBest submission – Jay Hieron, AnacondasFastest Finish – Jay Hieron, AnacondasFight of the Night – Chris Horodecki, Anacondas vs. Bart Palaszewski, Silverbacks
Most Valuable Fighter – Ben Rothwell, Silverbacks