(These cards could be explosive, or they could crash and burn the IFC)
According to a report from MMAFighting.com, Impact Fighting Championships has potentially bolstered its formerly sideshow-esque July fight cards with the signing of a number of former UFC and PRIDE standouts including Murilo Bustamante, Denis Kang, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Paulo Filho, Jeff Monson, Carlos Newton and Karo Parisyan.
As little as five years ago, the above list of names would have outmatched any combination on a Zuffa or SEG-helmed fight card, but for the most part, each one of these fighter brings with them a large question mark to go along with their undoubtedly large asking prices.
Some of them have been inactive, others have struggled with demons — both chemical and psychological and the remainder simply failed to live up to their potential. If by some divine intervention, all of these guys get their collective shit together and train and fight like…I don’t know…it’s their jobs again, we could see three decent shows with decent fights. Or, we could see a flop as a result of the IFC putting too many eggs in one basket and not looking at the card objectively for what it is, rather than what it could potentially be.
I’d love for it to be the former, but realistically speaking, I don’t think that banking on the fact that Filho, who has dropped out of his last two fights, will be able to fight three times in 15 days, says a lot about the promotion’s business sense.
Here are the cards as they stand to date:
July 3rd in Perth, Australia (Moved from Auckland, NZ)
Murilo "Ninja" Rua vs. Jeremy May
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Brad Morris
Jeff Monson vs. Jim Yorke
Paulo Filho vs. John Kolosci
Paul Daley vs. TBA
July 10 in Brisbane, Australia
Josh Barnett vs. Geronimo Dos Santos
Carlos Newton vs. Brian Ebersole
Karo Parisyan vs. Luis "Besouro" Dutra Jr.
Jeff Monson vs. Bira Lima
Paulo Filho vs. Keith Johnson
July 18 in Sydney, Australia
*Added the July 3 card and the fact that Filho is slated to fight three times in 15 days for the promotion.