Fighters.com is reporting that Zuffa (the parent company of the UFC and WEC) has acquired certain assets of the International Fight League, including the IFL’s video library and fighter contracts:
The deal is similar to the buyout of the World Fighting Alliance in 2006 and allows Zuffa to get its hands on the valuable IFL video library and fighters without assuming the failed company’s debt…
[T]he anonymous former IFL fighters who’ve confirmed to Fighters.com that they’ve been notified of the acquisition of their contract by Zuffa, LLC have also confirmed that their contractual obligations are now to Zuffa, LLC according to their respective managements and legal counsels.
Observant MMA fans noticed that the UFC was using IFL footage to introduce several of the new fighters during Saturday’s “Silva vs. Irvin” broadcast on SpikeTV, and that commentators Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg made several references to the defunct fight league — a practice that was previously verboten. And it seems that the more financially clever of these observant MMA fans made the connection and started buying up the IFL’s stock.
Obviously, those fighter contracts are the only things worth salvaging from Jay Larkin’s Death Ship. Reigning featherweight champ Wagnney Fabiano would be perfect for Urijah Faber‘s next WEC title defense (assuming he walks through Mike Brown in September, which he will), Chris Horodecki and Ryan Schultz could help energize the WEC’s ho-hum lightweight division, and Roy Nelson would bring some big-bellied jolliness to the UFC’s malnourished heavyweight roster. And as we saw on Saturday, even the IFL’s lesser-known guys are often good for a highlight-reel head-kick knockout, or a comeback fight for Brandon Vera. If the UFC can steal the IFL’s ring girl contracts as well, it’ll be a total success.
(Props: MMA Training)