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More gay IFL news … they just ‘fired’ Don Frye as coach because his team sucks. Of course, no one really cares about that, but I do want to point out what this means on a larger scale.

New IFL president and general MMA virgin Jay Larkin stated in a conference call last week that the IFL was planning on moving away from their schlocky animal related team affiliations to concentrate more on actual fight camps. This, as I said at the time, was a good idea. And I also said they’d probably still fuck it up, which it looks like they’re doing.

The fact that they’re still slowly firing coaches probably means they’re planning on keeping the ‘coaching’ position existent in their league. While it seems like a good idea at first glance to keep ‘celebrity’ coaches in place, it’s *the* main reason the IFL is so cut off from the rest of the MMA world.

In case you didn’t know it, Dana White fucking hates the IFL. He sued them several times when they first came into existence and burned many a bridge with people like Pat Miletich and Ken Shamrock over their participation in the IFL. So long as Dana White is running the show, you’ll never see one of the fighters in his organization fielding an IFL team.

And hey … that makes sense. The UFC spends a lot of money developing guys like Rich Franklin, Matt Hughes, and Randy Couture. You can’t have them signing on to be employees of a rival promotion. But while individual fighters are prevented from entering a business relationship with the competition, it’s understood that their fight camps are not tied to any one promotion and are free to do whatever they want.

Get rid of the ‘coach’ as an employee of the IFL and you get rid of the technicality that keeps camps like Xtreme Couture, H.I.T. Squad, Team Punishment, and Team Quest from participating.

In fact, the IFL should completely ditch the concept of teams being ‘a part of their league’ and instead position themselves as an organization that books teams against eachother, no major strings attached. Again, the less strings, the less ability the UFC has to be pissed when training camps that are generally known to be associated with them participate.

Sam Caplan pointed out something kinda odd … tucked in at the bottom of Steve Sievert’s Brawl Sports article on Nate Marquardt is this interesting paragraph:

In the meantime, Marquardt waits for his next opportunity to get in the cage. He has one fight left on his current UFC deal, and, according to his agent, the promotion has yet to contact Marquardt to make that fight or initiate discussions on a contract extension.

Okay, we’re the first people to admit that Nate Marquard has less personality than most people in a persistent vegetative state. His fights aren’t exactly setting the world on fire … the only interesting bout I’ve seen him in was was only great because Anderson Silva beat the shit out of him in it.

That being said, beggars can’t be choosers and right now the UFC is hitting urine-stained beggar status with their shitty middleweight division. Their TUF prospects keep dropping the ball and their grizzled veterans are either recovering alcoholics or in a permanent state of injury. If the best they can field is a couple snorefest fighters like Okami and Marquardt, then so be it.

If the UFC lets Marquardt go, that’ll be yet another mistake they’ve made in babysitting their middleweight division back to health. The UFC needs guy like him and Yushin Okami to be legitimate middle of the pack threats to bounce their marketable contenders off of. Never mind the fact that these guys are boring! At least keeping them around as token fighters keeps your Middleweight top five from being laughably littered with Ultimate Fighter washups.

Sam Caplan is reporting that the IFL live show drew a .4 rating on Saturday night:

It’s believed that the company considers the show a success because the numbers were a 20% increase from the previous week’s taped broadcast. MyNetworkTV was also able to sell out the ad inventory for the hour and there was additional press coverage of the IFL leading up to the first live telecast.

Right now a plan is being put in place to secure a two-hour live telecast on MyNetworkTV for the World Grand Prix finals on Dec. 29. that would start at 8 p.m. ET. The lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, and heavyweight titles would be decided with the idea of the show serving as an unofficial lead-in for the UFC 79 pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET.

MyNetworkTV might consider 0.4 a success, but to put things in context, the first three weeks of IFL Battleground drew a 0.7, 0.6, and 0.8 rating. To me, the current ratings they’re getting are pretty dismal because instead of representing the 0.4 that watched, it really shows how many viewers they’ve lost and can’t get back even with the promise of live shows.

This just confirms that there’s no quick fix that will make things better for the IFL … a lot of people have already made their minds up regarding the quality of their product and are sick of wasting their time on it.

I hope new head honcho Jay Larkin pushes his ideas through and makes a very clear distinction between this season and the next one, because if I didn’t have to cover the IFL on account of running this site, I wouldn’t bother coming back unless there were major obvious changes.

After soundly defeating Matte Kessler on Saturday night, Joe Calzaghe and his manager threw down the gauntlet and challenged Bernard Hopkins to a fight. Not knowing a lot about boxing past the fact that it’s generally fucked up, I doubted we’d get to see this fight any time soon. But it looks like Hopkins is willing and eager to fight as well:

“He said after the fight that he would fight me anywhere, even in my backyard, but I’m not asking him to come to Philadelphia,” Hopkins said. “I wouldn’t ask him to come to anywhere but Yankee Stadium. Hopefully for boxing, and for our legacy, it will happen.”

Hopkins is keenly aware of the storied boxing history of the fabled building that will close in 2008. Legends Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali, among others, all fought at Yankee Stadium, and Hopkins wants to be part of a final fight there.

“How great would it be,” Hopkins said. “This is a big fight. What a great promotion. The Brits will come. They got a direct flight from there to New York City. So am I interested in the fight? Absolutely. Do I feel I can give him his first loss? Yes. Can I neutralize the best weapon my opponent has and use it against him? Yes. His best weapon is that he throws a lot of punches. I know how to adjust to any style out there.”

This sounds pretty damned good. Is it just me or has boxing finally gotten it’s head out of it’s ass and started showing some damned good fights. With the help of Mayweather/De La Hoya, their PPV revenues have hit a new record, and that’s without several other big PPV fights over the course of the next two months.

As I’ve said before, I’m not a huge boxing fan. But if the quality and quantity of main events stays up like this, I might have to change my stance on the sport.

Holy shit! We’ve recorded an epic Low Blow which clocks in at 90 fucking minutes! That’s right! It’s a FightOpinion length expedition the likes of which we’ve never recorded before. As we promised, this episode is all about the fucking mailbag, except for the first ten minutes which is devoted to two girls and one cup.

33 questions were asked and 33 questions were answered. You can download the show here, or stream it using our handy dandy talkshoe applet. For those of you into that kinky shit, we’re also available on the iTunes.

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