Wednesday, March 7, 2007

IFL Preview Show Tonight

The International Fight League, the world’s first team-based professional mixed martial arts league, will air two hours of original programming this week, as the league moves closer its full regular broadcast schedule next week. In all, 66 hours of original IFL programming are scheduled to run on FSN and MyNetworkTV, which together reach more than 95% of U.S. television households, the largest consistent audience ever for the sport.

First on Wednesday night, MyNetworkTV will air a special one hour preview of “IFL Battleground,” entitled “Countdown to Battleground,” at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7 p.m. CT/MT. The show will give fans an inside look at the makeup of the weekly “IFL Battleground” show that will debut in its regular Monday night time slot this Monday, March 12, at the same time. The preview show will explain the IFL and MMA in general to the casual fan, while also giving a very strong inside look to some of the athletes and fights that have helped push the IFL into rising prominence in the sport.

The coverage will continue with a special Saturday night version of “The IFL on FSN,” at 11 p.m. This week’s matchup will see the debut of Don Frye’s Tucson Scorpions as they take on the new-look Tokyo Sabres. Key matchups will include the IFL debut of Tucson’s Chad Griggs taking on John Marsh, as well as the return to the ring of MMA veteran Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko, an MMA veteran who has missed the last two years. Ken Yasuda’s team will also feature the debuts of two Los Angelenos, Antonio McKee and Savant Young.

Start time for the show is 11 p.m. in most markets. The only exception will be on the West coast, where the show will remain in its Friday night spot. The March FSN schedule, with dates and times on each Regional FSN network, can be seen at Viewers can also check their local schedule at

The FSN schedule will follow the order of IFL events through early April. Then, the battle at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., between two of the league’s two top teams, the Pitbulls, coached by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Renzo Gracie and based in New York, and the Wolfpack, coached by Olympic Silver Medalist Matt Lindland and based in Portland, Ore., will be shown on same-night delay at 11 p.m. on Friday, April 13.

The 22 hours of original programming scheduled on FSN this year represents nearly 70% more than the 13 hours shown in 2006, when the network aired three hours of coverage of the IFL Legends Championship in May and June and followed up with 10 hours of IFL World Team Championship action, September through December.

The remaining schedule of matchups on each FSN debut date is as follows through April:

March 16, Anacondas vs. Silverbacks (Houston, Feb. 2)
March 23, Dragons vs. Wolfpack (Atlanta, Feb. 23)
March 30, Pitbulls vs. Red Bears (Atlanta, Feb. 23)
April 6, Condors vs. Sabres (Los Angeles, March 17)
April 13, Wolfpack vs. Pitbulls (Uncasville, Conn., April 13 same day show)
April 20, Anacondas vs. Razorclaws (Los Angeles, March 17)
April 27, Dragons vs. Scorpions (Uncasville, April 13 show)

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