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UFC Could Be Close to Acquiring the IFL

(It ain’t personal, baby. It’s strictly business.)

Despite Dana White’s love of criticizing every aspect of the IFL and citing them as a cautionary tale for MMA startups, it seems fighter contracts and an extensive video library are just too attractive for him to pass up. According to a report on MMA Payout, Zuffa is very close to buying the IFL.

The deal isn’t finalized, says Sam Caplan, but this is the most credible report thus far regarding the potential purchase of the IFL. The company was said to be on the market for around $1 million, but the UFC is believed to be getting it for less than that. Sources within the IFL could only confirm for us that the talks have been under way for some time now and the UFC is the leading suitor.

In case you’re wondering why the UFC would buy the company they spent so much time badmouthing, a clue could lie within Saturday’s “Silva vs. Irvin” fight card. The event features three former IFL fighters — Reese Andy, Rory Markham, and Brad Blackburn — whose entry into the Octagon was hastened by the UFC’s decision to put together an event to rival Affliction’s.

The UFC may be hoping to pick up some of the IFL’s better known stars, along with the video library to help promote them, in order to shore up their fighter roster before the likes of Jay Hieron, Chris Horodecki, Ryan Schultz, Jim Miller, and Roy Nelson (to name just a few) get snapped up by competitors like Affliction and Elite XC.

Cagepotato Comments

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Hank Scorpio- July 17, 2008 at 3:04 pm
There's an opportunity to pick up a "rival" organization at a reasonable price. I don't see any reason why they shouldn't jump on it. As for the need for feeder leagues: There are tons of those to go around. Most of them are unknown, but these unknown leagues supply most of the big fighters to the UFC, eventually. Buying IFL doesn't hurt MMA, even if they do disband it. There wouldn't be an IFL for too much longer anyway, regardless of Zuffa's involvement. They are not making money. So you can say goodbye to the team format. I say "good riddance."

I suppose this will end up putting the kaibash on the rumored Horodecki/Gomi fight, eh?
guesswhat- July 17, 2008 at 6:39 am
yeh but then randy got tested
Mike- July 17, 2008 at 4:58 am
His days in the UFC ended before the organization and the sport exploded in popularity. He spent most of his career in Pride, where his skills in the ring and reverence for Japanese culture made him an icon.

Ben, you forgot one teensy weensy little detail about why Barnett left UFC and fought in PRIDE. Hint: It's something they test for in UFC and not Japan.
Anonymous- July 16, 2008 at 10:19 pm
hgfhgfh ngwh
Me too- July 16, 2008 at 10:11 pm
thats good shit
Me- July 16, 2008 at 10:08 pm
Medium, not knit picking you or insulting you,
but i think you're using pacific instead of specific.
it's confusing... cause it's not atlantic
Medium Seen- July 16, 2008 at 10:00 pm
brad, not knit picking or insulting you,
but i think you're using well instead of while.
it's more pacific.
Brad- July 16, 2008 at 9:38 pm
Oh they want smaller venues to be around. They just don't want televised Venues that aren't there own. They will always need the little guy to bring up there new up and coming fighters, but they just don't want them taking any spotlight well doing that.

Now in this case, the IFL take over would give them video rights (which we have seen has been widely used on there pride take over) and a handful of fighters that are ready to step onto the big stage. Easily worth a million to the UFC. Even if some of the fighters don't pan out, or even get outright destroyed by tougher competition. It just further pushes the idea that the best fighters in the world are in the UFC, well giving them profit in the mean time.

Rather ingenious really! from a business owners perspective
The Bloc- July 16, 2008 at 9:25 pm
I dont get Dana White...he keeps saying they need the smaller organisations, that the UFC is like the NFL and other organistations like college football or whatever, but every chance they get, they buy the small organizations ....are they gonna get the fighters and disband the IFL like they did with Pride?