Saturday, March 17, 2007

IFL TV report of the show that should have aired on Monday

By Jeff Hamlin

3.16 International Fight League show.
The World Champion Quad City Silverbacks vs. the Los Angeles Anacondas from the Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas.

Overview: Why beat around the bush? This is the show that should have aired on MyNetwork TV Monday night. It wasn’t a perfect program, like the famed “fatherless bastard” episode of Ultimate Fighter 1. But it had the league’s flagship franchise, a charismatic coach who’s impossible to dislike, the most anticipated fight in company history, and a controversial finish. Even better, the fight lived up to expectations. In fact, it was arguably the best bout in IFL history. And it left viewers with plenty of incentive to see a rematch. In other words, a foundation to build on. Memo to programming executives: this is what creates MMA fans. Not appealing to the lowest common denominator with teases of someone being carried out on a stretcher.

The Quad City Silverbacks (coached by Pat Miletich) enter the 2007 season having won the four-team Legends Cup tournament and the eight-team inaugural IFL World Championship in December. They’re a perfect 5-0 in dual matches. Tonight, they face the Los Angeles Anacondas (coached by Bas Rutten), who lost to the Silverbacks in the very first IFL dual match last spring.

Announcers Kenny Rice and Stephen Quadros immediately put over the long-awaited lightweight bout between the Silverbacks’ Bart Palaszewski and the Anacondas’ 19-year-old Chris Horodecki. Both fighters are undefeated in the IFL (Palaszewski 5-0, Horodecki 3-0), and will fight in the fourth slot on the show.

The Silverbacks won the coin toss, and Miletich opted to send heavyweight Ben Rothwell out first to fight Matt Thompson. From there, the lineup consisted of (Silverbacks first):

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