Lions’ Welterweight Moves to No. 4 Seed, Will Take on No. 1 Delson Heleno on Nov. 3; Top 20 Athletes to Compete at Sears Centre in Chicago
NEW YORK, September 11, 2007 – Pat Healy (St. Louis) of the Nevada Lions will replace Antonio McKee (Long Beach, Calif.) of the Tokyo Sabres in the welterweight division of the 2007 IFL World Grand Prix, the individual all-star competition for the International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s number one mixed martial arts league. The semifinals will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Sears Centre in Chicago and the finals will take place on Saturday, Dec. 29 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Healy, who had been the 170-lb. alternate after a fine regular season training under Lions’ Head Coach and MMA legend Ken Shamrock, moves into the No. 4 seed and will take on top-seeded Delson Heleno (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) of the New York Pitbulls in the semifinals. Jay Hieron (Las Vegas) of the Los Angeles Anacondas moves to the No. 2 seed and will compete against the No. 3 seed Mark Miller (Chicago) of the Red Bears.
“Antonio made a decision regarding competition for another organization that was unacceptable based on his contract with the IFL,” said Kurt Otto, IFL co-founder and commissioner. “We feel that in the best interests of the league, these actions preclude him from competing on the IFL World Grand Prix card. We are pleased that an outstanding athlete such as Pat Healy is prepared to step into the very competitive 170-lb. division.”
McKee, who had qualified as the No. 2 seed, posted an unbeaten (3-0) regular season, helping the Sabres a 3-0 mark and berth in the IFL World Championship, where he defeated Heleno by decision on August 2 in the Sabres’ 3-2 defeat on August 2 in New Jersey.
The IFL World Grand Prix will feature the top four athletes from the IFL regular season in each of five weight categories. The winner from each weight class will be crowned a world Grand Prix champion, rewarding their great individual athletic accomplishment in team-based MMA.
Tickets for the IFL World Grand Prix semifinals will go on sale on Saturday, August 4. Tickets can be purchased at the Sears Centre box office, by calling 1-888-SEARSTIX, or online at www.ifl.tv. Tickets for the Finals at Mohegan Sun will go on sale to the general public on Friday, August 17, at 10 a.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun box office, online at www.Ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-860-886-0070.
Among the other stars scheduled to compete are Silverbacks’ heavyweight Ben Rothwell (Milwaukee, Wis.), Anacondas teen sensation lightweight Chris Horodecki (London, Ontario), Sabres’ light heavyweight standout Vladimir Matyushenko (Belarus) and Anacondas’ unbeaten middleweight Benji Radach (Coconut Creek, Fla.). Among the highly-anticipated matchups are rematches between Rothwell and Roy Nelson (Las Vegas) of the Lions and between Horodecki and Bart Palaszewski (Wonder Lake, Ill.) of the Silverbacks. Additionally, Wagnney Fabiano (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), unbeaten and the only IFL athlete with three first-round wins, takes on John Gunderson (Medford, Ore.) in the deep lightweight division.
Athletes were selected for the World Grand Prix based on their respective match records during the 2007 regular season. In the event of a tie, competitors with the fastest finishes or best strength of victories earned the higher seeds. The winners then defend their individual belts throughout the 2008 IFL season (dates and locations TBA).
The updated rosters for the World Grand Prix Semifinals follow. Bout order will be determined prior to the Official Weigh-in on November 2.
No. 1 Wagnney Fabiano, Dragons (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (3-0 IFL 2007, 3-0 IFL career, 7-1 overall) vs. No. 4 John Gunderson, Lions (Medford, Ore.) (2-1, 2-1, 15-4)
No. 2 Chris Horodecki, Anacondas (London, Ontario) (3-0, 6-0, 10-0) vs. No. 3 Bart Palaszewski, Silverbacks (Wonder Lake, Ill.) (3-1, 8-1, 28-8)
Alternate: Shad Lierley, Tiger Sharks (Seattle) (2-1, 2-1, 2-1)
No. 1 Delson Heleno, Pitbulls (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (3-0, 4-1, 11-2) vs. No. 4 Pat Healy, Lions (St. Louis) (2-1, 2-1, 18-11)
No. 2 Jay Hieron, Anacondas (Las Vegas) (2-1, 4-2, 12-4) vs. No. 3 Mark Miller, Red Bears (Chicago) (2-1, 8-2, 2-1)
Alternate: Brad Blackburn, Tiger Sharks (Seattle) (1-1, 3-2, 10-9)
No. 1 Benji Radach, Anacondas (Coconut Creek, Fla.) (4-0, 4-0, 16-3) vs. No. 4 Brent Beauparlant, Dragons (Ottawa, Ontario) (2-1, 3-3, 6-4)
No. 2 Matt Horwich, Wolfpack (Portland, Ore.) (2-1, 4-3, 19-9-1) vs. No. 3 Brian Foster, Razorclaws (Moreno Valley, Calif.) (2-1, 3-2, 9-11)
Alternate: Fabio Leopoldo, Pitbulls (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (2-1, 3-1, 5-2)
No. 1 Vladimir Matyushenko, Sabres (El Segundo, Calif.) (4-0, 4-0, 19-3) vs. No. 4 Alex Schoenauer, Anacondas (Las Vegas) (2-2, 4-4, 12-8)
No. 2 Mike Whitehead, Scorpions (Central Point, Ore.) (2-0, 4-0, 19-4) vs. No. 3 Mike Ciesnolevicz, Silverbacks (Williamstown, Pa.) (3-0, 5-2, 13-2)
Alternate: Jamal Patterson, Pitbulls (Hoboken, N.J.) (1-0, 3-1, 3-1)
No. 1 Ben Rothwell, Silverbacks (Milwaukee, Wis.) (4-0, 8-0, 23-5) vs. No. 4 Roy Nelson, Lions (Las Vegas) (2-1, 2-1, 8-2)
No. 2 Antoine Jaoude, Condors (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (3-0, 3-0, 7-2) vs. No. 3 Reese Andy, Tiger Sharks (Billings, Mont.) (3-0, 5-1, 7-1)
Alternate: Bryan Vetell, Pitbulls (Jamaica, N.Y.) (1-1, 1-2, 2-2)
International Fight League™ (IFL) is the world’s number one professional mixed martial arts sports league. IFL has its headquarters in New York and offices in Las Vegas. For more information about IFL, please see: www.ifl.tv.
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