While the UFC is the most popular mixed martial arts fighting organization in the U.S., the International Fight League or IFL is working to rival the UFC for attention.
The International Fight League was founded in January of 2006 and has a different approach to mixed martial arts competition by using team match ups. Each team has a coach and fighters in each of five weight classes. This team approach is closer to wrestling where remembers face off and each victory counts as points for the team. The first team to win three out of five matches is declared the winner.
Teams compete throughout the season and the two winning teams then compete for the team championship. Like other sports, each league name is related to the city in which they train. The IFL also holds open drafts to find new talent unlike the UFC. They seek skilled fighters that will add excitement to the sport of mixed martial arts.
Although the IFL focuses on the team aspect, they still allow for individual matches and championships. The company takes the top competitors from each of its weight classes and has them compete in individual matches for a championship title. This practice appeases the team format critics and also gives recognition to the fighters. Fighters get the chance to highlight their individual skills and win championship title just for themselves.
IFL fights are broadcast on FSN and MyNetwork and although are not as popular as UFC fights are gaining popularity as mixed martial arts get more popular in general. The event is also trying to change mixed martial arts convention in the way they treat their players. Because the IFL uses a team format, they want to offer regular fighters a base salary and even health insurance as well as fight winnings. These ideas are quite revolutionary for the world of mixed martial arts but will probably prove popular with both fighters and mixed martial arts fans. International Fight League fighters still make a decent living, most make between five and six figures depending on their fight records and performance.
The International Fight League is also different form the UFC because it offers their fighters more security. The UFC is quick to drop fighters that are not performing well. The International Fight League puts more weight on the team aspect and the excitement of the match. As long as an International Fight League fighter puts on an exciting show, they are likely to stick around.
Although the event is not yet as popular as the UFC, as mixed martial arts become more popular the league is sure to gain even more fans. The UFC faced extreme opposition in its early days, but the International Fight League has not endured as much controversy so it is sure to gain rapid popularity in the years to come.
About the Author:
Orange County Jiu Jitsu is a marital arts school located in Orange County, California. It offers a complete system of self defense and MMA training. Please go to Orange County MMA for more information.
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