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Ben Rothwell and Mike Whitehead axed from IFL Grand Prix

Once again, the IFL has managed to take a good idea and fuck it up. Last week they announced they would air the IFL Grand Prix live on MyNetworkTV. That’s a good idea. But then everyone realized they’re only showing an hour of it live … 3 fights if we’re lucky.

Regardless, the idea of a Grand Prix is still pretty sweet … take the best fighters in the league and make them fight eachother. What a novel idea huh? Hell, it kinda sounds like what every successful MMA organization does for ALL their shows (excluding UFC 78)! But now the IFL is fucking that up by dropping two of their best fighters from the Grand Prix because they don’t want a champion who’ll fuck off next year to another group.

This is a perfect case of what works for the goose not always working for the gander. Whatever the fuck that means. But yeah … what works for the UFC – keeping guys from fighting for a belt without being locked into long term contracts – isn’t really viable for the IFL. Why? Because the IFL is second-tier. I’m not gonna go so far as to call them minor league, but they’re definitely nowhere close to the UFC, ProElite, HERO’s … ya know, the big boys.

So acting like they’re top tier is just another example of the IFL living in a state of delusion, and really makes me doubt their business plans even more than before. The best the IFL should be hoping for now is that their Grand Prix finalists will all move up to fight in the UFC. That would at least give the company some sort of validity as a legitimate feeder organization for the fighters who are in it. You can’t expect the best fighters in your company to stick around when your company isn’t #1. That’s like expecting a top prospect to keep playing for their college football team when an NFL team is calling with a multi-million dollar offer.

This is just the first of many tough-guy moves by the IFL that we’ll be seeing in the next few months. They’re probably reasoning that they’re being too nice and that’s why they’re losing money. The truth of the matter though is they’re losing money because they over-extended themselves before bothering to make the company profitable. They can’t downsize because they’re stuck having to create two hours of TV content a week. And the irony is these TV deals aren’t even covering the costs of making that content!

Anyways, all in all the IFL is fucked. Or maybe not. Remind me later this week to make a post on how to change the IFL so it would stop losing money. Not like they’re gonna do it. Stupid bastards.

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