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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rosters Set As Anacondas, Silverbacks, Sabres, Pitbulls Battle In Season-Ending IFL World Championship Semifinals

Courtesy of the International Fight League:

Rothwell-Soszynski, McKee-Heleno, Matyushenko-Patterson Among Battles Between Standouts; Berths In Finals On The Line

NEW YORK, July 18, 2007 – The International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s number one team-based professional mixed martial arts league, today announced the rosters for the 2007 IFL World Championship semifinals on Thursday, August 2, at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J. The top-seeded Los Angeles Anacondas (3-0) take on the defending champion Quad Cities Silverbacks (2-1), while the second-seeded New York Pitbulls (3-0) look to defend their home turf against the No. 3 Tokyo Sabres (3-0).

Some of the more intriguing bouts in the Anacondas-Silverbacks matchup include rematches between heavyweights Krzysztof Soszynski (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Ben Rothwell (Milwaukee, Wis.) and light heavyweights Alex Schoenauer (Las Vegas) and Mike Ciesnolevicz (Williamstown, Pa.). Head Coach Shawn Tompkins’ Anacondas defeated Pat Miletich’s Silverbacks in a tight 3-2 verdict on Feb. 2 at Reliant Arena in Houston.

Among the compelling Pitbulls vs. Sabres contests are the battle of 2007 unbeaten welterweights (both 3-0) Delson Heleno (Rio de Janeiro) and Antonio McKee (Long Beach, Calif.) and the matchup of lightweight standouts Jamal Patterson (Hoboken, N.J.) and Vladimir Matyushenko (Belarus). Head Coach Renzo Gracie’s Pitbulls clinched the second seed with a win over the Toronto Dragons on June 16 in Las Vegas, while Ken Yasuda’s Sabres completed their unbeaten season with a win over the 2006 runner-up Portland Wolfpack on June 1 in Seattle.

“These four teams have proven to be the best over the six-month regular season, and now they’ll try to take the next step towards the biggest prize in MMA, the IFL World Championship,” said IFL Commissioner and Co-Founder Kurt Otto. “Fans will have the opportunity to see some of the sport’s biggest stars go at it in matchups that feature the widely contrasting styles of their coaches.”

Each of the 12 IFL teams competed in three regular-season events from January through June 2007. Those with the best overall records have advanced to the semifinals. The two teams that advance will meet Thursday, September 20, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, for the first-ever IFL World Championship. Members of the winning team will also receive Championship rings, as in other major American team sports.

In addition to the team competition, the IFL will hold a season-ending “World Grand Prix,” pitting the league’s top athletes at each weight class, later this year. Dates, times and competitors will be announced shortly.

The full rosters for the Semifinals follow. Bout order will be determined by coaches’ choice prior to the Official Weigh-in on August 1.

No. 3 Sabres (3-0 team, 9-6 indiv.) vs. No. 2 Pitbulls (3-0, 10-5)
155 lb.: Savant Young (Pasadena, Calif.) (2-1 IFL, 8-5 0verall) vs. Erik Owings (New York) (3-2, 3-2)
170 lb.: Antonio McKee (Lakewood, Calif.) (3-0, 20-3-2) vs. Delson Heleno (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (4-1, 11-2)
185 lb.: David Phillips (Texas) (0-0, 7-3) vs. Dan Miller (Sparta, N.J.) (0-0, 5-1)
205 lb: Vladimir Matyushenko (El Segundo, Calif.) (3-0, 18-3) vs. Jamal Patterson (Hoboken, N.J.) (3-1, 3-1)
265 lb.: Wayne Cole (Oklahoma City, Okla.) (0-1, 7-4) vs. Bryan Vetell (Jamaica, N.Y.) (1-2, 2-2)

No. 4 Silverbacks (2-1, 9-6) vs. Anacondas (3-0, 11-4)
155 lb.: Bart Palaszewski (Wonder Lake, Ill.) (7-1, 27-8) vs. Adam DiSabato (Columbus, Ohio) (0-0, 3-1)
170 lb.: Rory Markham (Chicago) (5-1, 11-2) vs. Chris Clements (Chatham, Ontario) (0-0, 4-1)
185 lb.: Gerald Harris (0-1, 4-1) (Tulsa, Okla.) vs. Benji Radach (Coconut Creek, Fla.) (3-0, 15-3)
205 lb.: Mike Ciesnolevicz (Williamstown, Pa.) (4-2, 12-2) vs. Alex Schoenauer (Las Vegas) (4-3, 12-7)
265 lb.: Ben Rothwell (Milwaukee, Wis.) (7-0, 22-5) vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (Winnipeg, Manitoba) (3-3, 12-7-1)

Preliminary Bouts
170 lb.: Mike Dolce (1-2, 3-2) (Belmar, N.J.) vs. Nissim Levy (0-0, 2-1)
185 lb.: Dante Rivera (0-1, 9-2) (New York) vs. Lyman Good (New York) (0-0, 5-0)

About the IFL

International Fight League™ (IFL) is the world’s number one professional mixed martial arts sports league. IFL has its headquarters in New York and offices in Las Vegas. For more information about IFL, please see: www.ifl.tv