(Shawn Tompkins works out with Wanderlei Silva.)
Here’s a story from over the weekend that fell through the cracks during our full-court-press of UFC 82 coverage yesterday. Remember when the IFL announced it had changed the name of Team Xtreme Couture to Team Tompkins out of respect for Couture’s legal situation with the UFC? Turns out, it didn’t go down like that. Randy Couture has a much different version of the events on the Xtreme Couture blog. Dig:
On January 8 we submitted a list of seven (7) fighters to the IFL that would be available to fight in the IFL event from the Xtreme Couture gym. The fighters were: Dennis Davis 145lbs (16-8), Jay White Heavyweight (2-5), Phil Friedman Heavyweight (1-0), Eric Uresk 155lbs (2-3), Josh Haynes 185lbs (8-8), Johnny Hendricks 170lbs (3-0), and Karina Taylor 135lbs (0-1).
The IFL informed us that Dennis Davis would be booked to fight a prelim bout against Ian Loveland and that none of our other fighters would be utilized. According to the IFL none of our fighters were a proper matchup for Mario Sperry’s team of Brazilian fighters. The IFL intended to field a team of Benji Radach (who due to injury was replaced by Josh Haynes), Santino DeFranco and Lew Polley. Radach had been a member of Shawn Tompkins’ Anacondas team, while DeFranco and Polley are from American Top Team.
Lew Polley and Santino DeFranco are tremendous athletes and excellent fighters. However, they are members of American Top Team not Xtreme Couture. American Top Team is a great squad and by all means seem to be deserving of having their own team in the IFL. We have 35 athletes that train in our Las Vegas gym and proudly wear the Xtreme Couture patch on their shorts during fights. Yet the IFL decided to field a team called “Xtreme Couture” without putting any Xtreme Couture athletes on the team. The Patriots didn’t show up in the Super Bowl with a bunch of players from the Packers. Why would the Xtreme Couture name be put on the line and not be represented by Xtreme Couture fighters.
It is because of this that the team name was changed to ”Team Tompkins”.
DeFranco and Polley lost their fights, and Josh Haynes won, so nyeh nyeh nyeh on you, IFL. It’s kind of shocking that they would reject the guys that Randy Couture wanted to compete for his gym, and replace their actual fighters with ringers. When Couture signed on to field a team for the 2008 season, I figured that the IFL would bend over backwards to keep him happy. But they had their own plans, and now Randy’s like “I’m done with these jokers, let Tompkins worry about it.” The main reason we were excited about the IFL’s new camp vs. camp system was the idea that we’d be seeing the relatively unknown guys that each coach had hand-picked to represent their gyms. Unfortunately, the new season isn’t any less artificial than the last. Oh well; maybe they can get their shit together in 2009.
There’s another notable recent post on the Xtreme Couture blog which mentions Ken Shamrock swinging through the gym to work out when he was in town for the IFL event: “The World’s Most Dangerous Man tells us he hopes to fight Kimbo and his brother Frank after his March fight in the UK.” Could we be seeing Slice/Shamrock on CBS this summer? Cross your fingers and toes, because that would be huge — not only as a ratings draw, but because Kimbo would finally get the challenge he deserves.
What do y’all think, Kimbo by KO or Shamrock by leg-lock?