IFL World Team Champs QC Silverbacks Defeated in Houston Season Opener

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HOUSTON, February 2, 2007- The Tokyo-based Sabres, led by Ken Yasuda and Los Angeles-based Anacondas, coached by Bas Rutten, won their respective season-opening International Fight League matchups on Feb. 2, 2007 in front of 4,531 at Reliant Arena in Houston.  Matt Lindland, coach of the Portland-based Wolfpack submitted Carlos Newton, Toronto-based Dragons’ coach in the “Superfight” which followed the team matchups.

The Sabres won, 3-2, over the Scorpions, coached by Don Frye and based in Tucson, while the Anacondas upended the defending IFL World Team Champion Silverbacks, led by Pat Miletich, by the same 3-2 count.
Lindland earned the victory with a second-round submission, taking out Newton with a series of punches to the face, backing Newton into the corner before dropping to the ground for the guillotine choke to finish the match.
The Houston card marked the first event in the Southwest for the IFL, the world’s first team-based professional mixed martial arts league, and is part of the full 11-event IFL 2007 schedule, the most comprehensive advance schedule in the history of fight sports.
In the highly-anticipated battle between the Anacondas (1-0) and Silverbacks (0-1), heavyweight Ben Rothwell (Kenosha, Wis.) struck first blood for the defending champs, registering a second-round TKO over a game Matt Thompson (Austin, Texas), who served as a replacement for the Anacondas’ regular at the spot, Krzysztof Soszynski.  In the welterweight bout, Jay Hieron (Las Vegas, Nev.) battled past another alternate, Victor Moreno (Des Moines, Iowa) to even the match with a first-round submission by rear naked choke.  Moreno fought in place of Rory Markham, who was out with an eye injury.  Anacondas middleweight Benji Radach (Longview, Wash.) took a slugfest from Ryan McGivern (Bettendorf, Iowa), landing a series of punches to finish off the TKO at 2:22 of the second round.  The much-hyped lightweight battle between Chris Horodecki (London, Ontario) of the Anacondas and Bart Palaszewski (Wonderlake, Ill.) of the Silverbacks was everything fans expected, with Horodecki taking a split
decision to secure the team victory for Rutten’s squad.  Light heavyweight Mike Ciesnolevicz (Williamstown, Pa.) took a split decision from Alex Schoenauer (Las Vegas, Nev.), completing the scoring.
The IFL next moves to the Gwinnett Center in suburban Atlanta, where the Dragons (Toronto), coached by Newton, take on the Wolfpack (Portland), coached by Lindland, and the Red Bears (Chicago), led by Igor Zinoviev, battle the Pitbulls (New York), led by Renzo Gracie.  Popular MMA veterans and local fighter Robbie Lawler and Eduardo Pamplona will match up in the “Superfight” following the team competition.

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