IFL fails to re-sign key fighters.
Contract woes and injuries, the bane of any fight promoter, have forced the International Fight League to make modifications to its World Grand Prix.
The league wants to use its Nov. 3 Grand Prix event at the Sears Centre in Chicago to identify individual champions in the five weight classes.
It set a drop-dead date of Oct. 9 for fighters who were going to compete in the Grand Prix to have signed contracts for 2008. But heavyweight Ben Rothwell and light heavyweight Mike Whitehead are unsigned, which forced IFL officials to make changes.
Rothwell has been replaced at heavyweight by Bryan Vetell, who is 3-2. Vetell will fight Roy Nelson in his first-round match. The other heavyweight fight, between Antoine Jaoude and Reese Andy, will go on as scheduled.
In addition to losing Whitehead to a lack of a contract, Andre Gusmao is injured, so the light heavyweight title chase has been reduced to a single match. Alex Schoenauer will take on Vladimir Matyushenko.
That fight will be one of three, along with a middleweight match between Benji Radach and Brent Beauparlant and a lightweight fight between Chris Horodecki and Bart Palaszewski, which will be shown live on MyNetwork TV.
Id say a fairly big blow to the IFL. Both Rothwell and Whitehead are big fighters in there company.