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IFL Cancels August Event, Inches Closer To Demise

The IFL has officially canceled their August 15 event in New Jersey as of today. Jay Larkin told reporters in today’s media conference call that the next event had been called off because “to do an event in August would put the company in jeopardy. …Had we continued with the August event we would have run out of cash.”

We’ve all known for some time that things were grim at the IFL, so this isn’t exactly a surprise. But this latest announcement, coupled with the morose tone sounded by Larkin on today’s call, suggests that there is very little hope left within the IFL that things will eventually turn around.

“Despite what some say, this has not been a good day for the sport, the fighters, or the fans,” said Larkin, who went on to speculate once more about whether there was a real market for MMA outside of the UFC. “When you look at the number of companies that spring up and fold overnight, it makes you wonder about the fan base.”

Larkin also said the IFL would be downsizing its staff to cut costs. While he said they did not want to release fighters as part of that downsizing, he acknowledged their willingness to work with other promotions who were interested in their fighters, and said he would deal with that on a case-by-case basis, but he didn’t want to “hold anyone back from a good opportunity.”

Larkin also noted that there were more members of the media on this call than he could recall for any other IFL conference call, which he described as “interesting.”

While answering questions about the IFL and the state of MMA, Larkin also discussed the Elite XC event on CBS, which he described as “a draw.” The show did well in ratings, he said, but was panned by fans as well as some of the very same reporters he was talking to.

He asserted that the IFL put on better fights than Elite XC, but hadn’t managed that type of success, and he mentioned several times the need for MMA organizations to work together in the future, saying that he hoped that might happen with the IFL and Elite XC.

This might not spell the absolute death of the IFL, but it certainly doesn’t look good. Larkin insinuated that fans don’t care passionately enough about MMA, saying that he went to a Boxing Hall of Fame event that brought tears to his eyes, but didn’t know of anyone who felt that way about MMA.

It seems as if the IFL’s plan is to scale back their operation, suspend all events, and try to leverage their video library and digital rights. Larkin said they’d been in talks with everyone from media companies and film studios and celebrities about buying or investing in the IFL, and that they had indeed “turned over a forest of rocks” looking for financial salvation, but to no avail.

Said Larkin about continued operations, “We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.”

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bpd- June 10, 2008 at 7:51 pm
I went to the last IFL show in NJ, which looks like it will be the **last** IFL show in NJ, and was stunned by two things as someone unfamilar with the product.

1) How good some of the fights were
2) How bad the presentation was

A Fight is a fight and fights are cool. But a fight on TV is both a fight and a **TV show**. Look at the EliteXC pacing compared to an average UFC Fight Night. Even if every fight on EliteXC was somehow Anderson Silva vs a robot from the future, the show still would have lasted about six days.
king- June 10, 2008 at 5:12 pm
what a piece of shit he and his boxing buddies can go circle jerk for all i care, MMA is the rising tide in the world of sports and hes just pissed his boards not big enought to surf, also elitexc ifl combo? yes thats what we need kimbo and his friends pulling a gang style jumping of professional athletes.
NealTaflinger- June 10, 2008 at 12:02 pm
Larkin's comments lead me to believe that the IFL's product and production were awesome and somehow the world let them down? Is he delusional or stupid?
NealTaflinger- June 10, 2008 at 12:01 pm
What a jagmo. NFL fans must suck, they can only support one quality league.
Blackleg- June 10, 2008 at 11:28 am
Well he's right, it's our fault for not loving the sport enough. It had nothing to do with them changing the fucking format every. single. year.
Summoner10- June 9, 2008 at 11:03 pm
The fans are the problem? Interesting, cause I thought the lack of any real drama and the fact that we only see fights a month after they happen were big problems. Also not to mention they wasted over a year with their over-use of the absurd team battles.
axhed- June 9, 2008 at 10:57 pm
“When you look at the number of companies that spring up and fold overnight, it makes you wonder about the fan base.”

stay classy asswipe.
godzillad- June 9, 2008 at 10:12 pm
''he went to a Boxing Hall of Fame event that brought tears to his eyes, but didn’t know of anyone who felt that way about MMA.''


ummm.....Boxing has been around for centuries, MMA has existed for 15 years. Way to jump the gun dude. No wonder IFL is going out of business with that kind of impatience.
martymarta- June 9, 2008 at 9:37 pm
passionate??? maybe have a look at GSP. Larkin sounds like a FAILed businessman to me. Maybe if he wasn't so busy crying over boxers and started caring about his mixed martial artists his company wouldn't be going under.
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