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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Matyushenko, Hieron, Fabiano To Defend Titles As IFL Returns To N.J. On April 4

Courtesy of the International Fight League:

Miletich Fighting Systems, American Top Team and Renzo Gracie Academy, Midwest Combat Battle In Camp Matchups At Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.

NEW YORK, February 13, 2008 – IFL titleholders Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko (Belarus), Jay “The Thorobred” Hieron (Freeport, N.Y./Las Vegas) and Wagnney Fabiano (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) will defend their belts when the International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI) returns to the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., with a nine-bout card on Friday, April 4. In addition to the three Championship bouts, competition between camps will feature athletes from Renzo Gracie Academy, Midwest Combat, Miletich Fighting Systems, and American Top Team.

Tickets will go on sale on Monday, Feb. 25, and will be available at the IZOD Center Box Office (located at the Meadowlands), www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (201) 507-8900.

Of particular interest is the addition of Florida-based American Top Team, which is “outside” of the core IFL camps to compete under the new IFL format which encourages challenges from the top MMA camps across the world.

Matyushenko, who defected to the U.S. while a member of the Belarus national wrestling team in the early 1990’s, was the IFL’s first individual champion, capping an unbeaten 2007 by winning the light heavyweight title by defeating Alex Schoenauer last November in Chicago. On April 4, Matyushenko will battle Jamal “The Suit” Patterson (Jersey City, N.J.), a Colgate Univ. graduate who now serves as regional sales manager for an orthodontics company in addition to his MMA career.

Hieron, a Long Island native who will be fighting in front of a decidedly hometown crowd, knocked out Delson “Pe de Chumbo” Heleno (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) in Connecticut in December to claim the welterweight crown. His opponent in New Jersey will be Mark Miller (Chicago), a former machine gunner in the U.S. Marines who was one of the big surprises at 170-lbs. last year in the IFL.

Fabiano is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert who used that skill to record five submissions, four of them in the first round, in a perfect 2007, culminating in a win over LC Davis (Kansas City, Mo.) in the featherweight championship in December. He takes on Shad Lierley (Seattle), a former collegiate conference wrestling champion at New York University who moves to 145-lbs. after impressing with two victories and a well-documented thrilling battle with Chris “The Polish Hammer” Horodecki (London, Ontario) last year.

“I like the local feel of this card,” said Bas Rutten, IFL Vice President, Fighter Operations. “In addition to three outstanding championship matchups, featuring fighters from New York and New Jersey, you have Renzo Gracie’s camp, which was the champion last year, Midwest Combat, which features our top fighters from the Chicago area, and great battles with the Miletich camp and American Top Team, which we are very excited to have on board.”

Among the intriguing matchups in the Miletich-ATT pairing are those between welterweights Rory Markham (Chicago) and Emyr Bussade (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and light heavyweights Mike Ciesnolevicz (Williamstown, Pa.) and Lew Polley (Coconut Creek, Fla.). L.C. Davis will also compete against a yet-to-be-determined featherweight opponent.

The Gracie-Midwest bouts include a rematch of last year’s exciting Deividas Taurosevicius (Lithuania) vs. Bart “Bartimus” Palaszewski (Wonderlake, Ill.) matchup. Delson Heleno will also fight at 170 lbs; his opponent is TBD.

Outside of the camp matchups, Chris Horodecki will battle a yet unnamed lightweight for a planned minimum nine-bout card.

IFL East Rutherford, N.J.
Friday, April 4, 2008
(order TBD)

Additional Bouts
155 lbs.: Chris Horodecki (London, Ontario) (7-1 IFL, 11-1 overall MMA) vs. TBD

American Top Team vs. Miletich Fighting Systems
145 lbs.: TBD vs. LC Davis (Kansas City, Mo.) (2-0, 9-1)
170 lbs.: Emyr Bussade (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (0-0, 10-5) vs. Rory Markham (Chicago) (6-2, 12-3)
205 lbs.: Lew Polley (Coconut Creek, Fla.) (0-0, 6-0) vs. Mike Ciesnolevicz (Williamstown, Pa.) (5-3, 13-3)

Midwest Combat vs. Renzo Gracie Academy
155 lbs.: Bart Palaszewski (Wonderlake, Ill.) (8-3, 29-10) vs. Deividas Taurosevicius (Lithuania) (3-0, 9-2)
170 lbs.: TBD vs. Delson Heleno (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (6-3, 13-4)
*205 lbs.: **Vladimir Matyushenko (Belarus) (5-0, 20-3) vs. Jamal Patterson (Jersey City, N.J.) (4-1, 4-1)

Additional Championship Bouts
*170 lbs.: **Jay Hieron (Freeport, N.Y.) (6-2, 14-4) vs. Mark Miller (Chicago) (2-1, 8-2)
*145 lbs.: **Wagnney Fabiano (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (5-0, 9-1) vs. Shad Lierley (Seattle) (2-1, 2-1)

*Championship Bout
**Current Titleholder

About the IFL

International Fight League™ (IFL) has its headquarters in New York and offices in Las Vegas. For more information about IFL, please see: www.ifl.tv.