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The IFL just seems to "get it"

As things stand right now, there is a lot to like about the IFL. The IFL pays its fighters a salary so they can afford to train full time, it provides its fighters medical insurance, it is preparing a year-long schedule so fighters can know in advance when they are going to fight and it has stated that it plans to give stock in the company to its team coaches.

The IFL just seems to “get it.” They treat the athletes like professionals and MMA as sport. They even understand grass roots promotion:

PORTLAND, Ore., October 17, 2006

Olympic Silver Medalist Matt Lindland, NCAA champion Mark Kerr and mixed martial arts champions Pat Miletich and Carlos Newton will head an “All-Star” lineup of instructors at a clinic for high school and collegiate wrestlers at Team Quest Training Center in Portland onTuesday, October 31, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. The clinic is open to all high school and collegiate wrestlers in Oregon and Southwestern Washington.There is no charge to attend (pre-registration required), and all attendees over 18 and/or their parents will receive a voucher good for two free tickets to the International Fight League (IFL) World Team Championship, a mixed martial arts event to be held at Memorial Coliseum in Portland on November 2.

The evening will include demonstrations and discussions by the champions, along with hands-on instruction in the sport of wrestling. Team Quest is located at 18206 SE Stark St. in Portland. Those interested in attending should contact Jerry Milani at the IFL at 212/765-5700 x626, or for more information.

“This clinic is a unique – maybe even once-in-a-lifetime – opportunity for high school and collegiate wrestlers and coaches to learn from the masters of our sport,” said Lindland. “They can all benefit greatly from the combined knowledge of these great champions. And as a bonus, those over 18 can come out and experience a great night of mixed martial arts.”

The four stars will be in town along with more than 30 other coaches and athletes as part of the IFL event, which will feature semifinal matches between Lindland’s hometown Wolfpack and Bas Rutten’s Anacondas,based in Los Angeles, as well as Miletich’s Silverbacks vs. Newton’s Dragons. The night will also feature two Superfights,including Kerr vs.Mike Whitehead and Allan Goes vs.Daniel Gracie.

I can hardly think of a more positive thing the IFL could have done to promote its event and also create interest among one of its most natural fan bases – amatuer wrestlers. Who knows, tomorrow’s great champion just might get his first taste of MMA at the seminar. tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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