IFL Coaching Legends to Visit Troops on USO Tour to Persian Gulf Region

International Fight League Coaching Legends to Visit Troops on USO Tour to Persian Gulf Region

ARLINGTON, Va. – The International Fight League (IFL), the world’s number one mixed martial arts league, will have two of its world champion coaches—the Quad Cities Silverbacks’ Pat Miletich and Tucson Scorpions’ Don Frye, along with reigning PRIDE world champion and Portland Wolfpack assistant coach Dan Henderson—embark on a USO tour to the Persian Gulf region in late June. These three legends will visit with service members and perform demonstrations of their fighting techniques to the troops. The tour is co-sponsored by U.S. Army Europe.

The International Fight League, based in New York and Las Vegas, differs from other MMA organizations, with teams of five world class athletes competing against another team of five athletes in a best three-of-five matchup over a six month regular season. The IFL competes in a ring as opposed to a cage, and has outlawed many of the moves that cause excess blood, such as elbows to the head, while emphasizing strategy and athletic technique. The 12 teams in 2007, 10 in the United States, one from Japan and one from Canada, are each coached by a former world champion and are made up of the newest wave of MMA rising stars, like undefeated lightweight Chris Horodecki of the L.A. Anacondas, light heavyweight Jamal Patterson of the New York Pitbulls and Quad Cities’ undefeated heavyweight Ben Rothwell. This trip is the latest in a series of IFL events with service men and women. Others recently have included clinics in Everett, Wash., and Chicago, a meet-and-greet at the U.S. submarinebase in Groton, Conn., and a series of clinics and events aboard ships leading into Fleet Week New York 2007. More events are also planned for the near future.

The IFL is seen weekly in the United States on Fox Sports Net (Fridays at 11 p.m.) and on MyNetworkTV’s “IFL Battleground,” Monday nights at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific and 7 p.m. Central time. For more information on the IFL, log on to ifl.tv.

The trip continues the USO tradition of bringing professional athletes and sports-related events to troops serving far from home. Previous tours this year include NFL players Drew Brees and Donnie Edwards meeting service members in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

The USO’s Operation Hardwood series groups NCAA basketball coaches with service members in a tournament setting. In addition, the USO – as part of its Operation Links tour – brought professional golfers to bases in Kuwait and Iraq to visit troops during Thanksgiving.

USO tours are sponsored by AT&T, Inc., the official telecommunications sponsor of USO entertainment tours.

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About the USO: For more than 66 years, the USO (United Service Organizations) has been providing morale, welfare and recreational services to U.S. military personnel and their families. The USO is a nonprofit, charitable organization, relying on the generosity of the American people to support its programs and services. The USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners AT&T Inc., BAE Systems North America, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, DRS Technologies, Inc., Military Channel, S & K Sales Co., TriWest Healthcare Alliance and The Walt Disney Company. Other corporate donors, including the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381), have joined thousands of individual donors to support the USO. For more information on the USO, please visit our Web site at www.uso.org.

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Jerry Milani