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Really interesting article about a company that is either brilliant or insane and the only way to find out is to see if they are successful.


(From thefightnetwork.com)




Kurt Otto and Gareb Shamus are the co-founders of a new league called the International Fighting League. Their goal is to create a league of different fight teams, not to mention putting fighters on salary.


MMAWeekly.com caught up with Otto and Shamus and got their insight to the new IFL and what fans can expect with the newest MMA organization in the United States.


MMAWeekly: Gentlemen take me through your background. How did you get involved in this project and how did you get involved in MMA.


IFL: (Kurt Speaking): I'm 35 years old, I will be 36 very soon. I started training in Tae Kwon Doe in 1977 when I was 7. My middle brother, Keith, started training in 1986 and actually won the Gold Medal in the Goodwill games. It's something we've always loved. From 5th grade to High school, I also wrestled. I'm currently training at Renzo Gracie's in Jiu-Jitsu. It was natural to go into Jiu-Jitsu. I was just rolling around with Jens Pulver today and that was an amazing opportunity to roll with him. Georges St. Pierre has also been training there getting ready for his fight.


I have a love for the sport. My occupation and profession, I'm in the architecture real estate development business. We design homes and purchase properties. It's a great business, but the problem is I can't compete or seriously train if I have a black eye and my nose is on the side of my face. It frustrated me to a certain extent. I live vicariously through fighters which I pay for on pay per view and my cable bill is proof of that. My brother and I are huge MMA fans and we really appreciate the sport and really support the sport by buying the PPV's and going to tons of live events and smaller shows. My brother and I were watching the smashing machine on HBO and I watched the documentary and it really hit home how these two champions (Mark Kerr and Mark Coleman) who were respected in the industry, and it's amazing how that Kerr got hooked on pain killers because there was no foundation or health insurance or retirement plan for these guys. They basically kick them to the side and say next, that sadden me. I turned to my brother and said there is no foundation or support system for these guys. If you look at pro sports like the NFL, NBA, or baseball, they have a support system in place that supports the athlete themselves. So I said, MMA doesn't have a league, let's start one. So here we are. We talked with the legends of the sport, they were all very excited about it so we have moved forward with a new fighting league.


MMAWeekly.com: Tell me about the team concept?


IFL: We believe because of the individualism of the sport, if that man or woman gets hurt and blows their knee or shoulder out and they are done, if a popular individual is hurt then that individual franchise is done. A team situation though with the five weight classes. Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight, Light Heavy and Heavyweight... those five weights will always be on that team. If we took a legend in the business and made him the coach, you would have five individual fighters competing under that legends system. There is all kinds of great camps that have their own specific style. Some have the ground Jiu-Jitsu style as their base while others preach other styles. So we thought it would be exciting to bring these camps together in a league and find out which style has the better style and who is more dominant.


MMAWeekly: The concept sounds great, but it also sounds very expensive. We've seen groups come and go. I remember the ICC was going to revolutionize the industry and went away after one or two shows. How do you make this concept work, with a salary and insurance structure for all of the fighters in your league?


IFL: I want you to understand one thing about the financial aspect as far as the fighters are concerned. If you look at the current opportunity for the fighters out there they are signing one, two or three fight deals with most organizations. Some give them say we will give you two or three, but lets see how you do the first one. So it forces these guys to have a full time occupation, whether they are a school teacher or police officer or whatever they are. It forces them to do full-time work first and do fighting part-time. We are not coming out of the gate saying these guys are going to make millions their first year, but what we are offering is a better opportunity for them financially to do this as a full-time profession under the MMA umbrella. If you look at what they are making now, they are making $2,000 and $2,000 (per fight) or 4 and 4 and you are only fighting once or twice a year, that doesn't cut it financially. What we are offering them is a base salary situation, plus a bonus system which we've created in the IFL to make an income they are proud of and be a fighter full-time. They can get into a house or an apartment, get a car and live like a human being. We've thought long and hard about this and how much those particular fighters would be making and we found we are offering them a very fair opportunity out there.


Curt: I'm in the media business. We are always in a position where we are investing in very talented people to create products. This took advantage of what I've been doing the past 15 years which is reaching guys in the 18-34 demographic and really knowing what appeals to them and how it appeals to them and all the companies that want to reach this demographic. Whether its Movie studios, video game companies, TV network, toy companies, you name it. We’re constantly investing in new products whether new magazines, new events, trade stuff, publishing magazines all over the world. We have a lot of friends that all want a piece of this. We have an incredible investor group that will work with us, on top of us being investors in the business.


MMAWeekly: Tell me about the rules of the IFL?



IFL: We are going to have 8 to 10 teams the first full season. In the beginning we are going to start with four teams. Let fans see the format and the rules and the format of the show. I will give you an example. The four teams will compete against each other. It’s an elimination situation. Just to give a taste of what we are doing, then the full season starts. It will be in a ring, similar to Prides. It’s a very unique 5 ropes high, an oversized ring it’s going to be a very unique situation that happens in an arena that I can’t share with you right now, but it will be very exciting for the fans. There will be a lot of interaction in the arena. The first fight to happen in the second quarter this year.


MMAWeekly: So how are the rules different in the IFL compared to regular MMA organizations?


IFL: The rule changes are similar to the approved rules in MMA. We have eliminated elbows due to health issues. Due to cuts that happen by the elbow. Our fighters will be competing every six weeks, each team I should say will compete every six weeks once the full season starts, so you can see how many problems we would have with cuts due to elbows. We believe that there are plenty of times that fighters are hit with elbows that a fighter could continue, he’s fine, but they call the fight because of a cut because of the bleeding that occurs. We feel it’s a loss of income to a fighter and that affects the way a fighter makes a living. Number two it’s a safer environment with less cuts and head blows are unprotected compared to a glove. Gloves protect hands and their face where elbows do not. A blow to the face with a glove protects your hand compared to an open elbow. Number three, the sponsorship will be more attractive because of the rule change. I’ve been watching MMA for 10 years. There are times when guys are getting elbowed like crazy and it’s tough to watch and I’ve watched it since the beginning. Since we are taking this more mainstream and being affiliated with a major sports cable network and the sponsorship that is now behind this because we aren’t using elbows is very exciting for us.


MMAWeekly: So knees are illegal?


IFL: You can still knee. You call still elbow to the body, but not to the face or head. Soccer kicks are illegal. More similar to Pride rules without soccer kicks. The rounds will be 3x3 rounds, because we really want guys that are going to the ground to work. Our refs will be relentless to get them back on their feet if they aren’t going to work. It gives the stand up fighters a better shot as well.


MMAWeekly: Doesn’t it hurt the guy on the ground with just 3 minute rounds?


IFL: It really helps them get focused on what they are doing and forces them to get to work. We try to make it as fair as possible, but we believe that being that they are going to fight more often and train more often.


By: Ryan Bennett


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I was gonna say, I'm very skeptical of this idea. It's all so vague it's hard for me to get into it.


Apparently Quadros and Bang are involved in a commentator and fighter role respectively, as is a top FW whose name escapes me (either Melendez or Faber). I guess that's a decent start, but until I see actual fights, that last more than one card (Frank Shamrock's Shootbox anyone?) I'm gonna remain skeptical.

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Well it all depends.


The positives are they have investors in it and they are from the business realm who have an interest in fighting, rather than the other way around. They seem to have a plan, and I like plans. This is not something done on a whim. Second, the popularity of MMA in the US has exponentially increased in the past year, so it's hard to compare this with other fight organizations and their success because it's simply a different game now.


The Team idea I am kinda mixed on, as I am with the seasons. I don't like conventional sports. So taking these two elements and putting them to MMA isn't really rubbing me the right way. I like the idea of putting the fighters on a salary so they can be sustained on an income and train effectively, but I don't exactly know how that is going to work.


If you are going to do 3 rounds. At least do 3 X 5. Their entire fights at 3 X 3 are less than PRIDEs first round.

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It's a pretty vague plan considering how ambitious the entire project seems to be.


Also, good luck getting medical clearance for a fighter that was KO'ed 6 weeks earlier.

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That Faber thing was such horseshit, the cut was clearly from an elbow earlier on, I saw the replay and that kick grazed him if anything. What a fucking cunt.


I'd like to see this succeed, but I'll wait it out and see. More names should be coming out in the future.

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The Team idea I am kinda mixed on, as I am with the seasons. I don't like conventional sports. So taking these two elements and putting them to MMA isn't really rubbing me the right way. I like the idea of putting the fighters on a salary so they can be sustained on an income and train effectively, but I don't exactly know how that is going to work.

I see this going the way of TeamTennis. Still, Shamus is good at hype (remember the comics boom in the 90's? You can partially credit/blame him for that) so we'll just have to wait and see.

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I, Patrick Miletich, declare as follows:


1. I am currently the President of Miletich Fighting Systems Corp., a mixed martial arts ("MMA") training facility, which is based in Iowa. I have personal knowledge of and am competent to testify to the facts set forth in this declaration. I make this Declaration in support of the Defendants' opposition to Plaintiff Zuffa, LLC's ("Zuffa") Motion for Preliminary Injunction in Zuffa, LLC v. International Fight League, Inc., et al., which is pending in the Eight Judicial District Court, Clark County, Nevada, Case No. A516841.


2. Since 1996 I have trained fighters in the world of mixed martial arts. Prior to opening my training facility in Iowa, I participated in many MMA organizational bouts and competitions throughout the world. In fact, in 1996 I became the Welter Weight World Champion and was able to hold that title for about 3 1/2 years.


3. Because of my reputation as a world-class MMA champion and trainer, my training facility currently has an enrollment of about 1,200 members, and I personally train about 40 professional fighters, several of whom are Champions, who fight in MMA organizations around the world, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship ("UFC"), and smaller organizations like PRIDE, Superbrawl, Extreme Challenge and King of the Cage. In addition, I regularly have several professional fighters that participate in almost every UFC event put on by Zuffa in the United States.


4. In or around Junr or July 2005, I recieved a call from Kurt Otlo. Kurt introduced himself to me and proceeded to pitch his (and Gareb Shamus') idea for the International Fight League ("IFL"). I was extremely excited about the IFL and its unique business concept because it would (a) provide a significant avenue for my fighters to fight and earn a living (which isn't easy) and (b) help establish additional notoriety and exposure of the MMA industry in the United States.


5. After numerous discussions with Kurt, I agreed to caoch a team of fighters from my gym who would participate in the IFL. Indeed, I am in the midst of training a team for the IFL's first pre-season event. I also told Kurt that he should call Monte Cox, a manager of prominent fighters in the MMA industry who also might be interested in assisting the IFL get off the ground by supplying additional fighters to the IFL.


6. In or around mid-January 2006 I attended a UFC show at the Hard Rock Cafe and Casino in Las Vegas called "Ultimate Fight Night" which was aired on SPIKE television. At the show I was joking around with Joseph Silva, the "Matchmaker" for the UFC. At one point I jokingly put my foot against his stomach like I was throwing a side-kick in slow motion. Dana White, Zuffa's President, was standing next to Mr. Silva when I did this. Observing my antics, Mr. White turned to me and said in a joking manner "Oooh! An IFL side-kick", which I took to mean that he could care less that I was going to be involved in the IFL and that he didn't think it was a big deal. Apparently, I was wrong.


7. Before the fights started at the Hard Rock Cafe and Casino I asked to speak with Mr. White alone. I said to Mr. White, "you know this [iFL] is going tobe good for the sport", to which he shook his head, smiled and said "yes". I really felt that it was important that he and I saw eye-to-eye on this matter.


8. In or around late Januray 2006, I recieved a call from Mr. White. During the conversation, Mr. White stated that he respected me both as a trainer and fighter, but then proceeded to express in a rather irate manner his feelings about the IFL and abruptly stated that "he was going to fucking crush these [the IFL] guys". Mr. White further made it clear to me that he was livid about losing Keith Evans to the IFL.


9. During this conversation I expressed to Mr. White my opinion (based on numerous conversations with individuals in the MMA industry) that a lot of people involved in MMA industry didn't very much care for him or the way Zuffa conducted its business and treated the individuals who fought at UFC events. In response, Mr. White stated that it "wasn't his fucking job to be liked". Mr. White further told me that he had spoken with the Fertittas (who own Zuffa), and they had given their "permission" to go after the IFL.


10. Mr. White further threatened me during the conversation, and implicitly the livelihoods of the fighters I train, stating that "when the dust settles, anyone associated with the IFL would not be associated with the UFC". I took this for what it was -- a threat to me and to my fighters who count on me to represent them and obtain opportunities to for them to fight in the MMA industry. Because of the virtual monopoly that Zuffa has in the MMA industry, Mr. White clearly knew that cutting me and my fighters off from the UFC would have a devastating economic impact.


11. Mr. White further told me during this conversation that he had been on the phone all day calling everyone he dealt with in the MMA industry and told me that, after speaking with all of them, none would be doing business with the IFL. My understanding from his comment was that he had made the same threats to everyone else he knew in the MMA industry that he had just made to me during our conversation. I attempted to tell Mr. White to calm down and tried to be rational with him. I expressed to Mr. White my opinion that the IFL was going to help the MMA industry and ultimately would increase the UFC's presence throughout the world. I further attempted to dissuade Mr. White from doing anything irrational with respect to the IFL (i.e., the lawsuit) and told him that I felt going after the IFL for no reason would be very bad for the entire MMA industry. Clearly, Mr. White could care less what I thought.


12. Following my conversation with Mr. White, Ken Shamrock, another world-renowned MMA fighter, called me and told me that Mr. White had just "raised hell" with him about his being associated with the IFL. As I understand it, Mr. White had made similar threats to Mr. Shamrock whom I believe at the time had an agreement with the IFL to coach one of its teams. I further understand that Mr. White made the same or similar threats to Randy Couture, perhaps one of the most legendary MMA fighters in the world and a former UFC World Champion. I further understand that Mr. White called a current UFC World Champion, Matt Hughes, to inquire of him whether he had any involvement in the IFL.


13. Knowing Mr. White the way I do, I can honestly say that Zuffa's intent is bringing this litigation has nothing to do with protecting any confidential information. Rather, I believe this litigation is about one thing and one thing only -- stamping out legitimate and, indeed, healthy, competition.



I declare under penalties of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.


EXECUTED on this 15th day of February, 2006


Patrick Miletich


Started by two long-time mixed martial arts fans, Gareb Shamus, founder of Wizard Entertainment, and real estate investor Kurt Otto, the International Fight League, which debuts April 29 in Atlantic City, is bringing an altogether different approach to the sport.


While some details are still being worked out here’s what we know. There will be four teams — the Pitbulls, Anacondas, Silverbacks and Tigersharks — of five fighters each.


Each team will have one fighter in the lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight classes. One team will vie against another with 10 fights in two separate brackets. Win three out of five fights and your team advances to the next round, approximately six weeks later.


The fights will be conducted in an oversized 24-by-24 five-rope ring, and each bout will consist of three rounds of four minutes each. Fighters will be on salary, will get health insurance, and will be eligible for bonus payouts.


In a Sherdog.com exclusive Pat Miletich (Pictures), founder of Miletich Fighting Systems and former 170-pound UFC champion, offers his opinion on many subjects, including his position with the IFL, thoughts on UFC President Dana White and a number of his fighters.


Sherdog.com: For the benefit of those people who are not familiar, can you fill us in on what Dana [White’s] beef was?


Pat Miletich (Pictures): Well, from what I can understand he felt that the IFL hired [former UFC exec] Keith Evans illegally or that there was some illegal thing going on or whatever. In my mind IFL was going to make Dana mad eventually. Dana sometimes gets mad about things. He decided that he was going to sue the IFL for doing things he felt was wrong. I talked to Dana and said that I didn’t think it was a good idea, and tried to remain calm with him, [saying]it’s not necessary. The IFL is going to help the UFC by bringing more notoriety to the sport, so just [let it go]. I mean, why would you blame somebody for hiring a guy who’s qualified? If I’m running a fight organization and Keith Evans says, “I’m available.” I say, “Great, you’re hired.” Be mad at Keith, great. Keith didn’t stick with Zuffa for whatever reasons; there are obvious reasons he didn’t stick with them, that was Dana’s beef, I think, to be honest with you. Hurt his feelings. Hell, I don’t know.


Sherdog.com: Based on your dealings with Dana, was this a surprise to you?


Miletich: No, because he told me he was going to crush him. I had a feeling, and like I said I tried to talk him out of it. Negative stuff like that does nothing but hurt everybody involved. Dana might not realize it but it’s hurting the UFC also.


Sherdog.com: Moving on to IFL. With all due respect to Mr. Otto and Mr. Shamus, to be blunt, why do you need these guys? You’ve got a great team yourself, and you know more about the fight game than anyone. Why not just start your own thing?


Miletich: Because these guys are great businessman. They know how to run a business. I know how to run my business. They know how to run their business. We make a great team together. All the people involved … I’m a small, a very small portion of this thing. I’m one little cog, one wheel in this machine. There’s a lot of people involved in this that are all very qualified people. So it’s a great thing. Gareb’s Wizard Entertainment Company has connections to a lot of TV networks, movie studios, toy companies, comic books, a lot of other magazines; things like that to where we can reach millions and millions of people that have never even seen this sport. I mean, in my hometown, half of my town has no idea what Ultimate Fighting is, and I grew up there my whole life, and there are 40 professional fighters that live there in a town of 40,000 people. Give me a break. How many people out there across the United States alone don’t even know what our sport is and haven’t even been reached yet? That says a lot for IFL. And it’s being marketed with a true league feel and touch. All that stuff is important for bringing in that guy that normally, if he saw fights in a cage, he’d go, “What a joke, this is ridiculous,” and click over to basketball on ESPN. This is a different look, and we want to get people that are normally not interested in the sport to jump onboard.


Sherdog.com: How long has this been in the works?


Miletich: Since about late summer [2005].


Sherdog.com: I would imagine that you get approached by guys with the “next big idea” all the time.


Miletich: Yeah.


Sherdog.com: So was it Otto and Shamus’s business sense that clinched the deal for you?


Miletich: Yes, but I also just liked the idea. I love the idea. I thought it was great. I grew up wrestling. A lot of people have trouble with the concept of a team thing with fighting. But what they don’t understand is I grew up wrestling my whole life, and all the guys that grew up wrestling their whole life know that it is a team sport and it is also scored individually. So it’s easy to do.


Sherdog.com: Who are the coaches, officially? There have been some changes.


Miletich: Maurice Smith (Pictures), Renzo Gracie (Pictures), Bas Rutten (Pictures) and myself.


Sherdog.com: No Tank Abbott?


Miletich: (laughs) No.


Sherdog.com: Are you an equity owner in this league?


Miletich: No.


Sherdog.com: Did you have any input into the rules or structure of it?


Miletich: Some.


Sherdog.com: Are you at liberty to discuss where you had input?


Miletich: No elbows was my idea. And also pretty much everyone agreed about no elbows, just for the sheer fact of keeping people healthy.


Sherdog.com: You’ve got the “no elbows” rule, you’ve got the ring, you’ve got the shorter rounds. What do you say to the fan that says this is UFC or PRIDE lite?


Miletich: I’d say wait till you see the fights and you’ll understand that these guys are the real deal.


Sherdog.com: Each team has an operating budget, correct?


Miletich: Yes.


Sherdog.com: Are you acting as coach and GM? Do you handle that budget, or does IFL?


Miletich: After we get out of the preseason, I’ll be given a budget to work with, and I’ll take care of my fighters the way I have to. Obviously the books will be looked at by IFL.


Sherdog.com: So you’re like Pat Riley to the Miami Heat: coach and manager of operations?


Miletich: Yes.


Sherdog.com: Can your top fighters compete, or is it only new faces we’ll see?


Miletich: It won’t be just new faces, there’s going to be some veterans, some Pay-Per-View veterans that are going to be in there. My job as a coach is not this season necessarily. My job is to build a foundation for successful reign for many years to come, so I decided to go with young fighters that have very good records that I know are capable of destroying people and doing it for several years down the road. I don’t want a guy that’s been on Pay-Per-View for 10 years and is at the end of his career just because I want to win this year. Even though I think we’ll dominate the first year.


Sherdog.com: Can you discuss the TV deal?


Miletich: There are negotiations [underway]. I really can’t talk about that.


Sherdog.com: Turning to Team Miletich for a minute. You’ve got one of the best, if not the best brands in the business. Obviously that is going to attract talent. Are you finding now with the competition that you need to do anything differently to attract guys to your camp? Do you recruit?


Miletich: I never recruit. The only thing I do — because we’ve started such a strong affiliate program now that we’re really getting a lot of affiliate schools — what I can do from that, the guys who graduate from the affiliate programs into my facility, who are the cream of the crop from their gyms. Then come to my place to get fine-tuned and get even better, and get more fights at a higher level, until they make it to pay-per-view. It’s a great system.


Sherdog.com: So you now have your own farm system.


Miletich: Absolutely. Whatever I can do to help any of those guys that have dreams or aspirations of getting there. It’s a great way for a guy like me, who loves to teach. But there’s too many people out there to teach; it’s a great way for me to touch people’s lives sometimes without even having taught them. Because I’m teaching the guys that are teaching them. One way or another they’re learning good stuff.


Sherdog.com: Once they come out to your facility, are they officially still a free agent? Or do they sign with you as well?


Miletich: I’ve done no paperwork with anyone. I’ve never signed a contract with any of my fighters. If they’re not happy with the way we’re doing things, they’re more than free to go somewhere else.


Sherdog.com: As a coach, you’re at the top of the pyramid, but I would imagine you wouldn’t stay there as long as you have if you’re not constantly pushing the envelope yourself. So what do you do to learn new stuff? Do you bring other guys in? Do you reach out to other coaches?


Miletich: You’ve definitely got to have an open mind, and you’re always looking to improve. But also at the same time, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There’s different ways of wrestling, there’s different ways of doing jiu-jitsu, boxing, Muay Thai, everything else. But still, fundamentals are always going to win. The guys that have the strongest fundamentals in all the areas of fighting are gonna win. The best Olympic wrestlers on the planet — I say this time and time again — are using single-legs and double-legs, just like they were doing in first grade. They just do them better than anybody else in the world. You can’t stop ‘em. It doesn’t matter if you know my game, if you know I’m going to come in and do certain things in my fight, you still have to be good enough to stop it. So we’re always going at things with an open mind; we always use things that work and are proven. We have no problem absorbing new material and adding it into the system, that’s the beauty of throwing the ego out the window and saying, “Nobody’s the best in the world. Maybe for one night I was, at one time in my life, whatever — but you’ve just got to say, ‘Hey, that’s a great technique, let’s use it.’”


Sherdog.com: Let’s turn to your camp. I’ll leave this one open-ended: Matt Hughes (Pictures).


Miletich: Matt Hughes (Pictures). Continues his dominance, and I believe will continue his dominance for as long as he probably wants to.


Sherdog.com: He said he felt Royce (Gracie) was behind the times, but is he altering his preparation in any way for that fight? How much does he vary the approach based on the fighter?


Miletich: Our approach is really always the same: we always work on ground and stand-up. We work wrestling, whether it’s offense/defense, we work the same amount pretty much for anybody that we fight. If you’re not a well-rounded fighter then you don’t belong in the game. Just because he’s fighting Royce doesn’t mean he’s working more on his jiu-jitsu. To be honest with you, he’s probably working more on his throws so he can launch Royce directly onto his head and then throttle him to within an inch of his life, and then submit him just to prove a point. Matt is setting out to prove a point with Royce in this fight.


Sherdog.com: Not suggesting Matt is looking ahead, but can we talk about Georges St. Pierre (Pictures)?


Miletich: Let’s first get back to Royce — Matt’s mad. Matt’s offended that Royce is even getting in the ring with him and thinking he’s gonna win. First of all, Matt thinks that way for everybody, it doesn’t matter who you are. The fact that you get in the ring with him, he’s offended that you have the balls to climb in the ring with him and think you’re going to win. That’s just his mentality.


Sherdog.com: Back to GSP. Hasn’t his game improved since the first fight?


Miletich: Yeah, I think he’s improved; I definitely think he’s improved. I think everybody improves the longer they’re in it. Has he improved enough to beat Matt? I don’t think so. Matt’s always going to be stronger than him. Matt’s always going to move better than him when it comes to wrestling and grappling. He’s never gonna out-power Matt. He’s a strong kid, but until Matt’s 45 he’s not going to out-power Matt. He may catch him. I’ve been wrong, Georges is a great fighter. Georges is the next best fighter in that weight division without a doubt in the world.


Sherdog.com: Moving to Tim Sylvia (Pictures). Obviously a tough loss to Arlovski the first time around. How is the approach this time going to be different?


Miletich: Fundamentals. He lost last time for not paying attention to fundamentals, but trust me he’s been working a lot on that. Nothing fancy. You don’t need anything fancy to beat guys.


Sherdog.com: Jens Pulver (Pictures).


Miletich: Jens is fighting the beginning of April over in Japan, not exactly sure who he is fighting. But without a doubt Jens will go over and make it exciting. Jens could fight his sister or he could fight King Kong and he’ll make it exciting. He’s a showman and he’s a great fighter. Jens plans on using all of his tools this time instead of just his boxing skills. He got in that mindset that he had to just box and bang and turn it into a brawl and wanted the crowd on their feet. What he was forgetting about is that winning gets you paid more.


Sherdog.com: So you felt he was focusing on boxing too much?


Miletich: It wasn’t that so much as he was more concerned with putting on a show for the crowd because he knew the Japanese people loved that. That’s what he wanted to do, and he still loves doing that.


Sherdog.com: How about Robbie? Some people felt he was a candidate for comeback fighter of the year last year. As a coach, what did you do to keep his confidence up, his head in the game after the tough losses in 2004?


Miletich: Everything happens for a reason. I think Rob needed that stuff to happen to realize that he couldn’t depend on just ability alone, just going out and throwing bombs and trying to get people with every punch. Rob’s now matured as a fighter so much that in the room, being deadly honest with you, in the room when Rob spars or grapples very rarely at any moment, in any practice, can anybody hang with Rob. When Rob wants to open up, Tim Sylvia (Pictures) will be gassed in three rounds. That’s saying how good Rob is, because Tim Sylvia (Pictures) hits hard and he’s a great fighter. Rob is just so smart at fighting in the room, and now finally in the ring, that he’s got the potential to be — if, if — he truly works hard, he’s got the potential to be probably the best guy ever to come out of the camp, and that’s saying some crazy stuff with guys like Pulver and Hughes and all these other guys that have come out.


Sherdog.com: So are you hinting that he hasn’t worked as hard as you’d like?


Miletich: When he was younger, he was depending on ability a lot, and he was injured a lot also. I’ve got to cut the kid some slack, because the three losses that he’s got, were fights he never really trained for because he was hurt the entire time. That had a lot to do with it too. You have to give Rob a lot of credit for going into those fights, not having trained enough and injured. Hey, you’re young; you’re injured; you need the money; and you feel you can do it anyway, more power to him. He’s got a lot of guts. Now that Rob is performing in the ring the way he does in the room, with sharp, crisp punches, any time he wipes his hands on people they’re gonna fall.


Sherdog.com: So is IFL next or UFC next?


Miletich: [icon], for all of next year. Rob signed an exclusive contract with [icon], and he’ll go with nowhere else, unless somebody’s willing to buy out that quarter million dollar contract and pay Rob quite well.


Sherdog.com: Anybody else in the stable you’d like to comment on?


Miletich: We’ve got so many tough guys coming up, they’ve fought a lot but look for the IFL to be exciting. We’ve got a lot of guys fighting in the UFC coming up. Spencer Fisher (Pictures) just had a loss in the UFC but it was a great performance coming off a week’s vacation down in North Carolina, then cutting 20 pounds in two days. On a last minutes notice they called him in to fight, went in and had a war, so great things for him coming up. But also, April 6, we’ve got three guys: Sam Hoger (Pictures), Josh Neer (Pictures) and our big boy, “The Hillbilly Heartthrob.” Those guys are fighting.


Sherdog.com: Everybody needs a gimmick, right?


Miletich: Yeah (laughs). The 15th is Sylvia-Arlovski, then we roll into May for Hughes-Gracie, and again, Pulver in April over in Japan.


Sherdog.com: Can you comment on the fight promotion company you’ve got in the works?


Miletich: Discussions have started. But first things first — we’re concentrating on the affiliate program and the fight game. That’s all we’re doing. With the affiliate program we’ve got people interested in London, Madrid, Beijing, up in Canada, all over the United States, so we’ve got a lot of good things happening. We welcome all people who are interested in taking a look at that program. We’re going to have a lot of fun with it, we’re going to cover the globe with Miletich fighting systems, and really educate people on what fighting is all about.


Sherdog.com: How many affiliate schools do you have now?


Miletich: We have six that are actually open, and about 14 will be open in the next couple of months.


Sherdog.com: So we’re hearing rumors of a comeback. Can you talk about it?


Miletich: Yes, I am [coming back]. It will be this summer against a big name opponent. I can’t say exactly who it is.


Sherdog.com: Feel free to tell us.


Miletich: I wish I could (laughs). I wish I could open my mouth, but it’s a fight that I’ve wanted for a lot of years. We’re great friends and when we talked about fighting each other we laughed. We said, “Yeah, let’s go out and knock the living hell out of each other and put on a great show for the crowd.” It’s going to be a lot of fun. The card is exceptional from top to bottom, the fighters that are on it are phenomenal.


Sherdog.com: As a businessman, the sport’s peaking and I would imagine it would be hard to turn down a comeback. It’s great for you [financially] and Miletich Fighting Systems in general. Is that what’s driving these comebacks lately?


Miletich: For me, I was the one pushing for this and the reason I was is because I had a neck injury three years ago and I didn’t want my body to tell me when I had to quit. I’ve rebuilt my body completely. My neck’s solid. I’ve taken some heavy strikes from my fighters, punches and kicks. That doesn’t bother me, so I’m ready to rock and roll.


Sherdog.com: I’m guessing training’s a way of life for you, so you probably don’t have to turn it up too much to get in fighting shape, or am I wrong?


Miletich: No, I need to turn it up a lot. I mean, I can still go in and spar 12 rounds with pretty much any of my guys — minus Lawler and maybe some of my big guys, some of the heavyweights. But just for the sheer fact that I have to lift hard, I have to run hard, I have to wrestle hard, I have to spar hard, I have to hit mitts, Thai pads, I have to stretch a lot, there’s a lot of things that I always did for fights that I don’t do as a coach as much. As a coach, I’m an extra body. I’ll get in there and bang with Matt Hughes (Pictures) for six rounds, 10 rounds, whatever, sparring, but because I’m not in shape I’m getting hurt because of it. I’m not doing my running and lifting and things like that — I’m just an extra body right now. So I need to rebuild my body so that I’m not getting hurt, which I’ve been in the process of doing the past couple of months.


Sherdog.com: How much training do you think you’ll need to get there?


Miletich: Twelve weeks of very intense training and I’ll be 100 percent.

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While some details are still being worked out here’s what we know. There will be four teams — the Pitbulls, Anacondas, Silverbacks and Tigersharks — of five fighters each.



Legends of the Hidden Temple? WTF?

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While some details are still being worked out here’s what we know. There will be four teams — the Pitbulls, Anacondas, Silverbacks and Tigersharks — of five fighters each.



Legends of the Hidden Temple? WTF?

Wait - where are the T-Birds?

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Guest Brian

Ticket sales are looking pretty bad. You can still get seats in the second row, and if you and nine of your friends are looking to have a party, you can buy out the third row of any of the ringside sections. Given that they are paying fighters a high base salary plus bonuses plus coaches plus renting out the arena, I'm not quite sure how they are going to ba bale to eat those expenses for more than a year.

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I'm watching the show right now on FSN to me it looks like the old K-1 reruns that is on ESPN but using a team concept.


Battleship Redux.


Don't remember Battleship? Exactly.

No but I remember ThunderBox

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NEW YORK, September 20, 2006 – Fox Sports Net (FSN) will broadcast the first of 10 hours of International Fight League (IFL) coverage on Sunday, September 24 at 6 p.m. local time. Sunday’s action will include the IFL World Team Championship quarterfinal matchup between the Anacondas, coached by Bas Rutten and based in Los Angeles, and the Sabres, based in Tokyo and mentored by Antonio Inoki. The bout was contested on Saturday, Sept. 9, in Portland, Oregon.


The Superfight held that night between IFL Wolfpack coach Matt Lindland and MMA veteran Jeremy Horn, along with several other bouts, will air on the next broadcast on Oct. 1. The next night, Monday, Oct. 2, a special two-hour prime-time edition of “Best Damn Sports Show Period” will feature the Pat Miletich vs. Renzo Gracie Superfight, as well as the battle between the teams they coach: Miletich’s Silverbacks, based in Quad Cities, and Gracie’s Pitbulls, who train in New York.


FSN also aired three hours of the IFL Legends Championship earlier this year. The IFL, the world’s first mixed martial arts league in a team format, will launch its first full season in the first quarter of 2007.


The fall IFL broadcast schedule on FOX Sports Net will be: (all times p.m.)


Sunday, September 24-6:00*


Sunday, October 1-6:00**


Monday, October 2-8:00 (Best Damn Sports Show Period, Two Hour special)


Sunday, October 8-6:00*


Sunday, November 12-6:00**


Sunday, November 19-6:00***


Sunday, November 26-6:00***


Sunday, December 31-6:00 (Two hour championship finals show)****


*- Featuring matches from Sept. 9 Portland, Ore. Quarterfinal event


**- Featuring matches from Sept. 23 Quad Cities, Ill. Quarterfinal event


***- Featuring matches for November Semifinal event (site TBD)


****- Final event at site TBD

Man I wish FSN would at least have a few commercials for these events.



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But Stephan Quadros working with Bas Rutten made the show feel like it wasn't minor league and you know the only thing keeping IFL from being bush league was Michael/Bruce Buffer. The Best Damn 2 hour special had good production work with the interviews of the featured fighters built up to be quality MMA vets. Renzo has to live up to the Gracie name considering under MMA kayfabe the Gracie family introduced the sport to the american audience. Pat Miletich, the man behind Miletich Farming Systems Extreme and trainer of UFC champions was out to show the hundreds in attendance that his discpline is the premier style in IFL today. Then they got in the ring the early minutes of round 1 was all about the feeling out process nothing but jabs as they circle the ring. Later in the fight Renzo started to go for the clinch on the ropes as Pat was resting Gracie worked the knees & legs then went for the jump guard and forced Miletich to tapout to the guilitine choke.


It maybe old news but any MMA on tv is good for fans of the sport....now if only KOTC can get a cable deal. Yeah its old news but not everybody goes to sherdog.com.


Man, do I hate Stephan Quadros.

I hate the disrespect the Gracie corner showed at the end of the Daniel/Simms fight. The second the ref called for the bell 30 people jumped in the ring to celebrate and some of them stepped on Simms as the ref was trying to wake him up! The shit looked like a bad Don King/Mike Tyson fight I'm surprised a riot didn't happen.

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