Former IFL heavyweight Shane Ott fighting for life in hospital
Former IFL heavyweight fighter Shane Ott is fighting for his life in a Philadelphia-area hospital following a severe motorcycle accident early Sunday morning, sources have confirmed to FiveOuncesOfPain.com.
Word initially spread Sunday afternoon that the 37-year old had died from the injuries, but that is not the case. However, indications are that Ott has sustained devastating injuries and his recovery is less than certain.
Ott has been affiliated with the Anthracite Combat Club in Minersville, Pennsylvania, where he trained under Jeff Wolcott. The camp has also produced former EliteXC fighters Jon Murphy and Jim Bova.
According to friends, Ott was a natural wrestler who had an extensive history of street fighting. He was able to turn his life around after getting involved in MMA and was considered one of the top heavyweights on the Northeastern regional circuit.
Making his pro debut on March 23, 2007, Ott recorded a TKO over Allen Royster at 1:06 of round 1 during Extreme Challenge 75. The win over Royster allowed him to compete for the IFL in just his second fight, as Ott was tapped as a last-minute injury replacement to compete against Chad Griggs. Ott once again finished his opponent in the first round, submitting Griggs with a Kimura just 1:09 into the fight.
Ott improved his record to 3-0 following another first round finish, this time against TUF 2 veteran Kerry Schall during Extreme Challenge 77. Despite giving up a great deal of experience, Ott was able to TKO Schall at just 1:23 of round 1.
Ott then suffered back-to-back losses in the IFL against Antoine Jaoude and Roy Nelson, however, he was able to take the eventual-IFL heavyweight champion Nelson to a decision in their June 16, 2007 encounter.
His most recent fight was on April 19 of this year against former Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro offensive lineman Carlton Haselrig. Haselrig, a former six-time NCAA champion in freestyle wrestling, recorded an upset victory over Ott following a TKO at 4:09 of round 1 at Battle Cage Xtreme 4 in Atlantic City, N.J.
We’re monitoring this story closely and will have more details as they become available.
HDNet Emerges as IFL Buyer
Mark Cuban’s HDNet channel has emerged as the frontrunner for all of the remaining assets of the International Fight League, which filed for bankruptcy Sept. 15.
Forms were filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission requesting that the publicly owned IFL be given permission to sell its remaining assets to the network. The forms also requested that HDNet be given every consideration as a potential buyer as the IFL’s assets go to the auction block through Oct. 23.
HDNet has offered a buying price of $650,000 for all intellectual property, including the IFL’s film, video and image library; its five-roped competition ring and team trademarks; and proprietary rights, including its Web site. The proposed transaction also includes any remaining broadcast contracts the IFL acquired during its two-year tenure, which includes a deal with Fox Sports Network.
HDNet Fights broadcasts a multitude of MMA events, including Strikeforce, Affliction and Japan's Dream promotion. The company’s CEO, Andrew Simon, was not immediately available for comment.
Bas Rutten On The Demise Of The IFL
In just a few short years the International Fight League went from ambitious concept to reality to demise.
At its best, the promotion helped reintroduce a group of veteran mixed martial arts pioneers to the new era of MMA fans, as well helped jumpstart the career of what would become some of the sport’s best young fighters.
One of the promotion’s first and most prominent figures was former King of Pancrase and Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titleholder Bas “El Guapo” Rutten.
Starring initially as the head coach of the Los Angeles Anacondas, Rutten then transitioned to a commentator role and ultimately ended up as Vice President of Fighter Operations, and shined with the usual El Guapo flair in each position.
Still, all things come to an end. As such, Rutten has been released from his contract with the company, and now he looks to transition to other things.
Speaking from his adoptive hometown of Los Angeles, Rutten spoke to MMAWeekly about his time in the IFL, his roles in the promotion, and what’s coming down the pipeline for one of MMA’s premier personalities.
MMAWeekly: First off Bas, tell us about your recent release from the IFL.
Bas Rutten: Well, from what I understand, there is no more IFL, right? We’ve been sold, but there’s still some working going on. Exactly what, I have no clue, but the paychecks have stopped coming in. For me it’s stopped and for all the people I knew in the IFL it’s stopped.
I knew the company was struggling. I had gotten emails from people there that had been let go. “Thanks for the great time working together,” and stuff like that. There was a hardcore group left, and once they started getting rid of those people, I knew the end was near. I was aware it was going to happen.
Former IFL Fighter Assaulted In Canada
Former IFL fighter Claude Patrick was part of a group of people assaulted in Quebec following an MMA event Sunday. Patrick, who was not on the event card, was reportedly tasered from behind and later placed in a medically induced coma by doctors. He has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home from what appears to be only minor injuries.
IFL champ Jay Hieron waiting through IFL's possible final days
UFC veteran and current IFL welterweight champion Jay Hieron (15-4) has been forced to watch from the sidelines as several of his fellow IFL fighters have found new homes in other organizations.
But with the IFL's future still up in the air, Hieron has targeted a late 2008 return to action.
Hieron, who could soon become one of the sport's top free agents, discussed his contract status while a guest on TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"I'm under contract with [the IFL]," Hieron said. "I'm waiting to hear something. It is what it is with this stuff. That's part of the game."
Official: IFL Down for the Count (Bought By Zuffa)
From IFL Senior VP, Joe Favorito:
I apologize for this mass email but I wanted to take a second to let you know that as of July 31 my role at the IFL will be no more as the company goes into its final stage of being sold and/or closed down. We are very proud of what we did here in just over two years, building a brand from nothing into something that people in the industry and outside of the industry actually noticed, and I enjoyed working with so many different people and helped tell some great stories. At the end of the day sometimes the finances don't make sense, but it certainly wasn't for lack of trying. The good news is I think we have gotten all our good junior people placed in some great spots, so we are pretty proud of that. Even our interns landed in good places.
IFL ON HOLD, CHAMP MATYUSHENKO TALKS CONTRACT
Vladimir Matyushenko has been one of the real success stories of the International Fight League. Despite the promotion’s difficulties, he has remained a constant source of excellence since his debut for the company in 2007.
Currently riding an eight-fight winning streak, Matyushenko, the IFL’s current 205-pound champion, is eager to continue his winning ways, even though the IFL has placed their operations on hold.
The Great Fight North - Horodecki Waits on IFL
The International Fight League announced last week its decision to cancel its show on Friday, Aug. 15 in East Rutherford, N.J., in an effort to keep the promotion afloat. IFL CEO Jay Larkin did little to quash rumors that the company might cease operations.
"We're going to stick around as long as we possibly can, and that's the major reason for canceling the August show -- to give us the resources to stick around for a few more months and play it through," Larkin said. "Our cash situation is such that to continue to do an event in August would put the company in jeopardy."
Devin Cole Arrested on Charges of First-Degree Rape
Devin Duane Cole, 31, of the 500 block of Pearl Street, Medford. Medford police Saturday arrested Cole on charges of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree sodomy and two counts of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration. He was lodged in jail on $5 million bail.
IFL asking Price: $1 million
Conde Nast Portfolio does a quick synopsis of the IFL's recent announcement that it was going into suspended animation while trying to partner up. There were some interesting tidbits contained within the article. The IFL has been on the block but this article is the first to actually throw out a figure being asked for the company, $1 million.
Jay Larkin CEO of the IFL talks about how groundfighting "is tedius and like watching gay foreplay"
Wow and this guy runs an MMA Organization...
Jay Larkin surveys the inaction with a weary, seen-it-all expression. "This isn't my idea of fighting," he says of the world's fastest-growing spectator sport. "To me, two guys rolling around on the floor is tedious, like watching gay foreplay."
That's not the sort of assessment you'd expect from the I.F.L.'s chief executive, but Larkin, who ran Showtime's boxing division for 25 years, is nothing if not brutally honest. He'll have to be brutal to keep his publicly traded startup—which has plowed through more than $30 million in the last year and a half—from going down for the count.
On Tuesday, Larkin announced the cancellation of the league's August 15 event at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Bereft of fans, funds, sponsors, and marketable personalities, the fight promotion seems to be rapidly imploding. "Trying to revive this company is like doing open-heart surgery," concedes Larkin. "We're going to stick around as long as we possibly can."
DARK DAYS AS IFL CANCELS SHOW, FUTURE IN DOUBT
The International Fight League on Tuesday announced that it has canceled its planned August 15 event at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., signaling what seems to be the inevitable conclusion to the imploding fight promotion.
In a prepared statement, the IFL said that it continues to explore options for maximizing shareholder value in the publicly traded company, but if the IFL is unable to leverage any of those options, the company may seek protection from its creditors through a court proceeding, otherwise known as bankruptcy.
Kurt Otto Steps Down As Commissioner Of IFL
The revolving door of changes at the International Fight League continues to turn as former co-founder and commissioner Kurt Otto has stepped down from his previous role. He will now serve as matchmaker along with Bas Rutten and Shannon Knapp, as confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by representatives from the IFL.
According to a statement from the IFL, Otto is still the promotion’s largest shareholder, but his job behind the scenes will now be as matchmaker.
Otto founded the IFL along with friend and business partner Gareb Shamus in 2005. Shamus stepped down from the organization last year, resigning his role as CEO, being replaced by the current head of the company, Jay Larkin.
The IFL has been mired in financial problems recently, prompting Larkin to go as far as to say they were looking for new partners or to possibly sell the promotion depending on the given situation.
Bas Rutten Talks IFL, Grand Theft Auto 4 & More
Three events into a new year and the International Fight League has put in some of the most exciting match-ups in the organization’s brief history.
Key to the in-ring success has come at the hands of the matchmaking. Lead by Kurt Otto, in conjunction with Bas “El Guapo” Rutten, the IFL’s change of format to individual fights with champions in six weight classes has proven to be a shot in the arm to the company’s live events.
In particular, Rutten has grown into his role as Vice President of Fighter Operations, continuing his transition from fighter to MMA business professional, enjoying every minute of it.
Recently Bas took time from his always hectic schedule to speak to MMAWeekly about the current status of the IFL, his foray into the world of video games and his always present endeavors into expanding the Bas Rutten name and brand.
- IFL LOOKING FOR NEW PARTNERS OR BUYER
During a media conference call on Thursday, International Fight League CEO Jay Larkin confirmed rumors that the organization is actively shopping the promotion for new investors and could even possibly sell the company.
“Are we actively looking for a partner or a sale? The answer is, yes,” Larkin stated on the call. “We entertain phone calls and questions almost on a daily basis from potential investors, potential buyers, people who want to get in the MMA business, people who are already in the MMA business.”
The news comes just prior to the organization’s May 16 event, which will take place at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. The promotion will then go on a brief hiatus until its August 15 event, which will feature a newly designed hexagon-shaped ring dubbed “The Hex.”
International Fight League revealed plans on Thursday to debut a six-sided
The new ring has been branded as “The Hex” and will debut on August 15 for a show at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
The prototype of the new ring is still being constructed. Upon completion, it will be stored in Las Vegas.
While not addressing the issue directly, it’s likely that the IFL’s decision to use a six-sided ring is based on claims by critics that their product looks too much like boxing on television. Publicly, the IFL is indicating that its audience enjoys the ring and that they are going with a six-sided version in order to create a larger fighting environment.
“From a production and live event standpoint, the ring has proven to be the most fan and media friendly environment, as well as providing the safest possible environment for our athletes,” IFL CEO Jay Larkin is quoted as saying in a press release. “The Hex allows for the larger surface that is utilized in other MMA organizations while still retaining the advantages we have enjoyed with the ring.”
No matches for the Aug. 15 card have been announced. The promotion may start revealing matchups to the public in June.
pic looks interesting
Seven Added to Complete IFL Mohegan Sun Card on May 16
The added fighters include two – Danillo Villefort (Pompano Beach, Fla.) and Josh Souder (Mason, Ohio) who competed at IFL Draft events last September. Also added is Jim Miller (Sparta, N.J.), who is coming off an impressive victory in his IFL debut at the Izod Center in E. Rutherford, N.J. earlier this month.
Also newly named to the card are Lamont Lister (Philadelphia), Joey Guel (Olympia, Wash.), Fabricio Camoes (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Nick Calandrino (Emerson, N.J.). The bouts involving the added athletes include:
Lister vs. Aaron Stark (Portland, Ore.), 205 lbs.
Calandrino vs. John Howard (Boston), 170 lbs.
Souder vs. Zac George (Norman, Okla.), 155 lbs.
Guel vs. Matt Horwich (Portland, Ore.), 185 lbs.
Camoes vs. Miller, 155 lbs.
Villefort vs. Mike Massenzio (Paterson, N.J.), 185 lbs.
As previously announced, three IFL Champions will put their respective titles on the line to headline the card