IFL TO MAKE CHICAGO DEBUT ON MAY 19 WITH TWO ILLINOIS SQUADS
Sears Centre to play host to Chicago, Moline squads, Superfight between MMA Legends Marco Ruas, Maurice Smith
NEW YORK and CHICAGO, May 2, 2007 – Postseason spots are on the line as the International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s first team-based professional mixed martial arts league, holds its first-ever event in Chicago on Saturday, May 19, with an 11-bout card at the Sears Centre, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The event is part of the full 11-event IFL 2007 schedule, the most comprehensive advance schedule in the history of fight sports.
The matchups will include the Chicago-based Red Bears, a new IFL franchise coached by Russian MMA champion Igor Zinoviev, against the 2006 IFL Champion Silverbacks, based in Moline, Ill., and led by legendary MMA athlete and coach Pat Miletich. The other matchup pits the Condors, based in Southern Calif. and coached by MMA champion Marco Ruas, vs. the San Jose-based Razorclaws, coached by fellow MMA legend Frank Shamrock. In a bonus “Superfight,” Ruas will battle MMA and kickboxing champion Maurice Smith, following the team competition.
The Silverbacks (1-1 team, 6-4 individual) and Condors (1-1, 5-5) will be looking to secure a berth in the four-team IFL playoffs, while the Red Bears (0-2, 2-8) and Razorclaws (0-2, 2-8) will be looking for their first victories of the season.
Several Chicago natives will be competing, including a compelling welterweight matchup between Southsider Rory Markham of the Silverbacks and Mark Miller of the Red Bears. Silverbacks lightweight Bart Palaszewski (Wonder Lake, Ill.) and Red Bears light heavyweight Adam Maciejewski (Chicago) are also competing on the card.
The bout roster is replete with other matchups between some of the league’s biggest stars. The Razorclaws’ Brian Foster (Moreno Valley, Calif.) takes on Justin Levens (Philadelphia) in a battle of bruising middleweights. Fans are also excited about the heavyweight matchup between the Razorclaws’ Dan Christison (Las Vegas) and Antoine Jaoude (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).
Bout order will be determined by coaches’ choice prior to the weigh-in on May 18. The rosters as of April 24 are as follows:
Razorclaws (San Jose) (0-2, 2-8) vs. Condors (Southern Calif.) (1-1, 5-5)LW/155: Josh Odom (Tallahassee, Fla.) (1-2, 4-3) vs. Adam Lynn (Huntington Beach, Calif.) (0-2, 10-7)WW/170: Donnie Liles (0-1, 7-3) vs. Rodrigo Ruas (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (0-1, 3-4-1)MW/185: Brian Foster (Moreno Valley, Calif.) (1-2, 8-11) vs. Justin Levens (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) (0-2, 9-5)LH/205: Jeff Quinlan (San Jose, Calif.) (0-1, 0-1) vs. Emanuel Newton (0-0, 7-4)HW/265: Dan Christison (Las Vegas) (0-1, 8-5) vs. Antoine Jaoude (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (2-0, 6-2)
Silverbacks (0-1, 2-3) vs.Red Bears (0-2, 2-8)LW/155: Bart Palaszewski (Wonder Lake, Ill.) (6-1, 26-8) vs. John Strong (0-0, 0-0)WW/170: Rory Markham (Chicago) (5-1, 11-2) vs. Mark Miller (Chicago) (1-1, 6-2)MW/185: Ryan McGivern (Bettendorf, Iowa) (4-3, 10-4) vs. Tim Kennedy (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) (1-0, 7-1)LH/205: Mike Ciesnolevicz (Williamstown, Pa.) (3-2, 11-2) vs. Adam Maciejewski (Chicago) (0-1, 5-3)HW/265: Ben Rothwell (Kenosha, Wis.) (6-0, 21-5) vs. Travis Fulton (Cedar Falls, Iowa) (0-0, 176-41-9)
SuperfightMarco Ruas (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (0-0, 8-3-2) vs. Maurice Smith (Seattle) (0-0, 9-9)
Tickets are available through www.ifl.tv or via Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com, by telephone or at Ticketmaster outlets.
Each of the nine regular season IFL events will consist of four teams – each with an athlete in all five weight classes competing. The team that wins the best three of five match setup will be declared the team winner for the match, similar to collegiate and high school wrestling meets. The IFL also differs from other MMA organizations in that the bouts are held in an oversized five-rope boxing ring with three, four-minute rounds, each designed to create the most compelling in-arena experience for local fans.
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.
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