(“I’m back, Bitches!”)
The IFL sent out a press release today detailing their second event in 2008. And true to the organization’s word, multiple titles will be on the line. Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko, Jay “The Thorobred” Hieron, and Wagnney Fabiano will all be defending their belts at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J. during a nine-bout event on Friday, April 4th. The three championship bouts will be accompanied by match-ups between camps including Renzo Gracie Academy, Midwest Combat, Miletich Fighting Systems, and American Top Team. No word if Kyra Gracie will be among the RG Academy’s fighters.
What did Bas Rutten, IFL Vice President of Fighter Operations, have to say about the event, you might ask?
“I like the local feel of this card,” said Bas Rutten, IFL Vice President, Fighter Operations. “In addition to three outstanding championship matchups, featuring fighters from New York and New Jersey, you have Renzo Gracie’s camp, which was the champion last year, Midwest Combat, which features our top fighters from the Chicago area, and great battles with the Miletich camp and American Top Team, which we are very excited to have on board.”
American Top Team – based out of Florida – is considered outside of the core IFL camps and is one of the first to compete under the new IFL format.
“The Janitor” defected to the U.S. when he was a member of the Belarus wrestling team in the 90′s and became the IFL’s first individual champion when he won the light heavyweight title against Alex Schoenauer in November. He will face Jamal “The Suit” Patterson (God, these fucking nicknames), a sales manager for an orthodontics company. That’s even worse than being a real estate agent – not that we’re judging.
Hieron will pretty much have home field (he’s from Long Island). He claimed the welterweight crown in December when he KO’d Delson “Pe de Chumbo” Heleno. Mark Miller will be the man he will face on the 4th of April. Miller is a former Marine, so that makes him tough or something.
BJJ specialist Fabiano is the featherweight champ since his submission win over L.C. Davis in December. He will face Shad Lierley, a collegiate wrestling champion. Lierley has made waves since his epic battle – although a decision loss – against previously undefeated Chris “The Polish Hammer” Horodecki in 2007. As a side note, L.C. Davis will also be fighting in the event, but an opponent has not been named.
The match-ups in the Miletich/American Top Team joint include Rory Markham, Emyr Bussade, Mike Ciesnolevicz, and Lew Polley. For the RG Academy/Midwest fights, we’ll be treated to Deividas Taurosevicius and Bart “Bartimus” Palaszewski in a rematch. Delson Heleno will also be in action with a fighter TBD.
Tickets for the show will be available Monday, February 25th at the IZOD Center Box Office (at the Meadowlands), and on-line at Ticketmaster or by calling (201) 507-8900.
Aside from the camp match-ups and title defenses, Chris Horodecki will be returning for the first time since his only loss. No one has been named to fight the lightweight who last fought on December 29, 2007 – a loss to Ryan “The Lion” Schultz.