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Tag: season opener

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…