Well, it’s official: the IFL is shutting down operations, closing up shop, stripping the wiring for copper, locking it’s doors for good, and so on and so forth. There’s still been no announcement of who bought them, but it’s the worst kept secret in the universe: the UFC has already started booking IFL fighters and IFL footage aired on last weekend’s UFC Fight Night. Perhaps this is Dana’s ‘special announcement’?
This could be good or bad for most of the IFL’s big names. The UFC ain’t about to transfer contracts over … they’ll just hold them and make the fighters sign a new one with them. Fighters who don’t want to sign or who the UFC doesn’t want are likely to get the shaft, the same way PRIDE guys like Mark Hunt and Hellboy Hansen did. Fortunately, I don’t think price tags are going to be an issue like they were with several PRIDE fighters. Payrolls had most IFL guys making TUF level money, and while the promotion managed to fuck up nearly every aspect of it’s product, it did manage to up the name value of most of their top guys.
Three last things to point out before we bury the IFL along with the GFC, WFA, PRIDE, and many more: MMA Payout notes that Jay Larkin might have been locked into a non-compete clause, which would be good for the UFC. That guarantees he doesn’t scuttle over to EliteXC and slap down his patented brand of fiscal responsibility on the company. And another: while fighter contracts and video footage are certainly worth something, the biggest reason for the UFC buying out the IFL may have been just to keep anyone else from buying it.
Last but not least, what happens to the people who bought IFL stock? Does all the sale money go into paying off debt and salaries of Larkin and the rest of the top-level suits? Will stock holders even be able to get the 2 cents a stock the company is ‘worth’?