N.Y. Pitbulls Heavyweight Bryan Vetell, Portland Wolfpack Middleweight Matt Horwich and Wolfpack Assistant Coach Dennis Hallman All Competing for Spots on First-ever USA Grappling Team this Weekend in Las Vegas
NEW YORK, June 7, 2007 – The International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s number one team-based professional mixed martial arts league, will have three athletes competing this weekend at the USA Wrestling Grappling World Team Trials at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, with the winners going on to the Wrestling World Games in Antalya, Turkey in September. The trio, New York Pitbulls heavyweight Bryan Vetell (Hempstead, N.Y.), Portland Wolfpack middleweight Matt Horwich (Portland, Ore.) and Wolfpack assistant coach Dennis Hallman (Yelm, Wash.), all won qualifying events to reach this weekend’s competition.
“This will be an exciting opportunity for these three athletes to use the grappling skills they have learned as part of their Mixed Martial Arts training and see if they can go on to represent the United States in this historic event,” said Kurt Otto, IFL co-founder and commissioner. “This competition, combined with the clinic we will be doing during the weekend is a great next step in our partnership with USA Wrestling.”
Vetell is a Hofstra University graduate and Long Island native who has competed for Renzo Gracie’s Pitbulls, training out of the Gracie Academy in Manhattan, during the inaugural IFL season.
Horwich is a Portland native who has excelled under the tutelage of Olympic silver medalist for the Wolfpack. Most recently he knocked out the Tokyo Sabres’ Kaz Hamanaka in a bout in Everett, Washington.
Hallman is a UFC and IFL veteran who is one of the most skilled grapplers in MMA. The Washington native has been working with Matt Lindland’s Wolfpack team. In addition to the athletes competing, the IFL will be holding two clinics on Saturday and Sunday as part of the USA Wrestling Fan Fest. The three competing athletes, and Lindland, as well as the Los Angeles Anacondas’ Jay Hieron and Alex Schoenauer, Reno Lions’ Roy Nelson and others are scheduled to appear, demonstrate grappling techniques as they apply to both MMA and wrestling.
Currently no less than 30% of IFL coaches and athletes come from a wrestling background, many with international and college success. They include Olympic medalist Matt Lindland (Nebraska), two-time Olympian Dan Henderson, past national champion Don Frye (Arizona State) and current athletes Wayne Cole (Oklahoma), Orville Newton (Oklahoma), Jay Hieron (Nassau Community College and Hofstra University), Gerald Harris (Cleveland State), Ryan McGivern (Iowa), Mike Whitehead (Missouri), Aaron Stark (Wisconsin), Ryan Schultz (Nebraska), Reese Andy (Wyoming), Shad Lierley (NYU) and others.
For more information on USA Wrestling’s World Team Trials in Las Vegas, visit: http://www.usawrestlinglasvegas.com
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.