Sun, Submissions and the Silverbacks


On September 20, 2007, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., will be turned into a jungle as the Quad City Silverbacks and the New York Pitbulls fight to see who will be the 2007 International Fight League World Champions.  For the Silverbacks, being in the championship is nothing new as they are the defending 2006 champs.  The Miletich Men dominated the top-seeded Los Angeles Anacondas in a near perfect 4-1 victory at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J.  To start the night off it was 205 lb, Mike Ciesnolevicz of the Silverbacks defeating Alex Schoenauer of the Anacondas, in a split
decision after three rounds.  A kick to the head of Schoenauer appeared to be the hit that sent him into a daze and to eventually lose.It was Rory Markham’s first fight back after an injury early in the season and he didn’t miss a step as he went after Anacondas sub Chris Clements and secured a victory after the referee stopped the fight early in the first round.In an unexpected battle between Bart Palaszewski and Harris Sarmiento a rare cut was opened under Palaszewski’s eye.  But in the third round Sarmiento fell victim to a guillotine choke that would give the Silverbacks their second win of the night as well as later earning Bart the submission of the night.  When asked in the press conference what he thought of the fight, Palaszewski said that he didn’t know what kind of fighter Sarmiento was.  He took it easy, pushing the pace but still being very cautious.  Borrowed Portland Wolfpack alternate Gerald Harris stepped in for the Silverbacks at 185lbs to take on Benji Radach.  Despite numerous take downs and signature slams, Harris would be knocked out in the third minute of the first round.  This would be Quad Cities only loss of the night.  Impressed by the fight as well as his helping the Silverbacks, IFL owner, Kurt Otto awarded Harris the fight of the night honor.
In the much anticipated heavyweight fight between Silverback’s “Big” Ben Rothwell and Krzysztof Soszynski it didn’t take long to see why Rothwell is the man to beat in the IFL.  Ben dropped his opponent in 13 seconds with a strong right hand followed by a barrage of hammer fists sealing the win.
“When you see somebody making something look easy, you’re seeing them do it right,” said Rothwell after the match.  “What we did right was how we prepared for this match.”
With the championship weeks away, the Quad City Silverbacks will have their hands full as they face the undefeated New York Pitbulls, led by coach Renzo Gracie.  The last time the two teams met was at the Mark of the Quad Cities in 2006. The Silverbacks won 3-2.  With the championship on the line, will the Silverbacks have what it takes to defeat the Pitbulls to become 2-time champions of the IFL?  Or will these New York dogs have their day?

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