Tuesday, March 13, 2007

IFL on MyNetwork TV

By Zach Arnold

I want nothing more than to see a second promotion cement itself as a successful MMA operation in the United States. I have friends who work in the IFL. However, there comes a time where you have to call a spade a spade.

After watching the debut of IFL Battleground on MyNetwork TV on Monday night, I was embarrassed to be an MMA fan. It was disheartening and comical at the same time to be an MMA fan watching this. This show was so ridiculous that I felt sorry for the fighters, coaches, and staff involved with the various IFL teams.

To set the stage as far as who was producing the IFL Battleground show, the producer is Jay Larkin of Showtime boxing fame. Dana White recently commented on Jay Larkin in a CBS Sportsline interview on March 9th:

DW: Not really, you know they’re just bad guys; they’re in it for the wrong reason. I mean, all these guys who are getting involved, they crack me up. You know you’ve got Gary Shaw and Jay Larkin now. You know Gary Shaw three years ago thought MMA was a joke. Jay Larkin is a guy I talked to five years ago that wouldn’t put it on Showtime; didn’t believe in it at all, now he’s getting a paycheck from one of the companies and now he’s all about it. These are all guys who didn’t have the passion for it, didn’t like it and didn’t see the future in it.

The show starts out with Frank Shamrock talking about how his fighters will fight to the death. Then a fighter is shown getting choked out while you hear flatlining sounds in the background as doctors rush into the ring. They focused on the ring girls throwing out gimmicks to the crowd, as they start off with a slick video opening package.

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