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Monday, March 17, 2008

IFL To Honor N.Y., N.J. High School Champion Wrestlers At First 2008 East Coast Event April 4 At Izod Center

Courtesy of the International Fight League:

NJSIAA, NYSPHSAA Grapplers To Be Recognized At Professional Mixed Martial Arts Event

NEW YORK, March 17, 2008 – The connection between the sports of wrestling and mixed martial arts is a strong and growing one. In recognition of the achievement of New York and New Jersey high school wrestlers this season, the International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI) will honor the champions of both states and their coaches at the first major MMA competition on the East Coast in 2008, April 4 at the IZOD Center in E. Rutherford, N.J., beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The league will recognize champions recently crowned in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) and New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) for their athletic excellence.

“More than two-thirds of our professional mixed martial arts athletes come from the high school and collegiate wrestling ranks,” said IFL CEO Jay Larkin. “We are proud to be able to highlight the success and hard work that these state champions have demonstrated and wish them success as they move forward in their academic and athletic careers.”

Last year, the IFL and USA Wrestling, the national governing body of the sport of wrestling, began a partnership to help promote the relationship between the sports. The IFL has held clinics with USA Wrestling around the country, using IFL elite athletes with a strong wrestling background to show younger athletes how to improve technique. Numerous IFL athletes, including current champions Jay Hieron, Roy Nelson, Vladimir Matyushenko, Ryan Schultz and Ryan McGivern, have an accomplished wrestling background. In addition, former middleweight champion Matt Horwich earned a silver medal at the World Grappling Games in the summer of 2007 and his coach Matt Lindland is an Olympic Silver Medalist.

Some of the elite wrestlers competing on the April 4 MMA card at the Meadowlands will include Hieron (Nassau C.C.), Matyushenko (Lassen J.C.), Shad Lierley (New York Univ.), L.C. Davis (Missouri Valley College) and Mike Ciesnolevicz (Lock Haven Univ). The event will feature nine bouts, including the IFL featherweight, middleweight and light heavyweight belts, and will be seen live on HDNet and Fox Sports Canada, as well as on tape delay on FSN.

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.