Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City, New York
The major problem with the IFL is just that it came into alot of media attention really quickly. It's not that the organization is bad, that the team concept is bad or that the rules are bad, it's that they are still in a building phase.
I think that if you give the IFL maybe 5 or 6 years to really get built, give them time to set up 20+ teams, divisions and a four year season instead of the 1 year season that keeps the win and loss count low, then they will be really good.
If they expand (something the IFL has every intention of doing) the right way (which they seem to be doing), then it will give them the opportunity to really bring in some good fighters. I also think that the establishment of a belt system will help establish some stars, though I'm not sure how they'll do it with the guys that will still be on teams.
Frankly, I think there are more than a few really good fighters in the organization, I just don't think that we see them as much as we'd like to, and I think that the modern MMA fan (myself included) is more interested in the individual bout than the team concept. Once we get more teams and localize the sport more, we'll really start to see a change.
There are a few things, though, that'd I'd like to see the IFL do:
A season expansion (I'd perfer a four year season, because I think it would heighten the competitiveness and there would be some change in the teams over the course of a season)
Stadium establishment (it seems pretty important that we get the home vs. away concept establishment, so that there can be more support from a localized fan base, and while this is easy for teams in cities with MMA venues like Chicago, San Jose and Tokyo, I think it's going to be harder in Reno or some of the smaller cities as they start to expand)
Team expansion I'd love the see as many as 32 teams, and if they could do it with credible coaches, it'd be pretty awesome. There are still some good guys that I think they could get to coach, my short list includes
Rickson/Royce/Royler Gracie to provide some contrast to Renzo's east coast BJJ
Nobuhiko Takada/KID Yamamoto [that would be Killer Bee] to add another Japanese team
Russian Top Team/Red Devil Sport Club because I'd like to see 2 or 3 more Russian teams besides Zinoviev, who's team trains in America anyway
Greg Jackson to bring in another quality coach
Peter Aerts/Branko Cikatic/Mirko "CroCop" Filipovic to add another really serious kickboxer besides Maurice Smith
Elvis Sinosic/Anthony Perosh to really provide a great Aussie team, plus they would have some really solid ground game
Ernesto Hoost as a kickboxing legend and a genius, I think he would make a great coach and, along with
Aerts/Cikatic/CroCop possibility I mentioned above, really up the quality of standup, which is really lacking in the IFL
Lil Nogueira/Belfort since Big Nog and A. Silva are in the UFC it's really not an option to get one of them, but I think that a team training out of Blackhouse would really add some quality Brazilian standup
BTT Canada to add another Canadian team, ideally they would fight out of Quebec to contrast with Newton's Toronto based team
There is a long list, but those are the guys I'd really like to see.
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