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Tag: Roy Nelson

IFL Recap: A Title Switcheroo

(Ryan “The Lion” Schultz G-n-P’s John Gunderson.)

Last night at the Orleans Arena in Vegas, 3,931 fans watched the IFL kick off its 2008 season with three title matches – lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight – in addition to their camp-on-camp battles. Ryan “The Lion” Schultz, who won the lightweight title back in December when he beat the shit out of previously undefeated Chris Horodecki, retained his title by earning a unanimous decision over John Gunderson. “The Lion” claimed recently that Gunderson had been offered this fight many times, but had neglected to take it until now. The champ held a strong position through much of the fight – which was fought on the ground for the most part. Both Schultz and Gunderson had chances to end the fight with a choke early on, but neither could execute it.

Heavyweight Roy “Big Country” Nelson also successfully defended his belt by getting a TKO over Fabiano Scherner at 3:20 in the first round. “Big Country” has been improving his striking and this fight showed that as he unleashed a barrage of rights to get a stoppage.

(“Big Country” has a celebratory seizure.)

One title did switch hands and it happened the night before the ex-champ’s wedding, too. Matt Horwich put his middleweight title on the line against Ryan McGivern, which made for the best fight of the night. Horwich almost ended it via armbar in the second round, but the bell saved McGivern’s ass. Horwich almost went down himself in the fourth when McGivern drilled him with a flurry of strikes, but “The Fighting Hippy” held on. In the end, a unanimous decision gave the middleweight crown over to McGivern, ending a two month run as champ for Horwich. Hope he ices his face for the sake of the wedding pictures – he didn’t grow the mohawk out for nothing.


No Rest for the Weary: Three IFL Champs to Defend Belts on 2/29

(Matt Horwich, celebrating or something.)

Some of the IFL’s new champions could have a seriously short reign at the top if they’re upset at the league’s season opener, which will be held just two months after their titles were awarded at the World Grand Prix. As reported on Friday, the first 2008 event will be held in Las Vegas on February 29; the IFL sent out word today that the competition will be headlined by the following championship matches:

[lightweights] Ryan Schultz vs. John Gunderson
[middleweights] Matt Horwich vs. Tim Kennedy
[heavyweights] Roy Nelson vs. Fabiano Scherner

Most eyes will be on Ryan “The Lion” Schultz, who is looking to prove that his violent K.O. of Chris Horodecki was no fluke; Gunderson was scheduled to face Horodecki for the title, but was injured in training and replaced by Schultz at the 11th hour.

The other big news coming from the IFL today is that the team matchups for the season opener have been finalized: Matt Lindland’s Team Quest will take on Ken Shamrock’s Reno-based Lion’s Den, while Team Xtreme Couture will face the fellow newcomers of Mario Sperry’s MMA Top Team, who are also based in Las Vegas. In case you’re unfamiliar with his work, 41-year-old Sperry is one of the founders of Chute Boxe-rivals Brazilian Top Team; in 1998, he became the first fighter in history to make a member of the Gracie family submit in a match, when he defeated Royler Gracie.

More updates to come…