This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend the International Fight League 2007 World Grand Prix Finals at Mohegan Sun. Thanks to Joe Favorito, the Vice President of Communications for the IFL, I was able to get a ringside seat for the action.
I won’t go into the details, the entire recap of the evening can be found here. I will go into my experience there which was quite positive.
I arrived at Mohegan Sun and had the opportunity to talk to Bas Rutten, IFL host and color analyst. He was very open and honest about the future of Mixed Martial Arts and told me he expects to see the sport in the 2012 Olympics in London. He also said the talk of Floyd Mayweather going into MMA was just that, talk. And he said wrestlers like Kurt Angle who has trained with Bas learn how tough MMA truly is. As far UFC and IFL, he says both organizations can compliment one another and says they are both good for the sport.
Even though the Patriots-Giants were playing at the same time as the IFL, some 5,900 people came and it was a sell out at the Mohegan Sun Arena. And there were some worries that UConn playing earlier in the day in the Meineke Car Care Bowl would keep people away, but that was not the case. The arena was very packed.
I also noticed Randy “The Natural” Couture there as he was coaching several fighters. Two hot chicks were with him as he went into the locker room. And he signed autographs and took pictures with fans as well.
The card started right on time at 7:30 and we saw four fights right off the bat. All went rather quickly and ended before 8:30 p.m. HD Net was going to join the event live at 9:30 p.m. so there was a lot of time to fill.
The ring girls handed out t-shirts and DVD’s to the crowd. And we also got updates on the Pats-Giants game. The crowd was getting impatient, so a video was shown on the big screen to help pass the time.
When HD Net joined, the fights quickly got underway. Here are the highlights of the broadcast:
And here’s the entire fight between Ryan Schultz and Chris Horodecki.
Overall, it was an enjoyable night. Thanks to the people at IFL for allowing me to attend.