UPDATED: IFL Cancels August Show

June 11, 2008

Earlier today International Fight League CEO Jay Larkin held a conference call in which he announced the IFL has canceled its planned show for its August 15th show at the IZOD Center in New Jersey due to cash flow issues.

“Our cash situation is such that doing an event in August would put the company in jeopardy,” said Larkin.

Larkin said that many of the IFL’s prior changes had been “done on the fly” and compared it to doing open heart surgery – trying to retool an entire organization while still running it. Skipping the August show will allow the company to retool its product and keep cash on hand.

In a release posted on the company’s website, the event was canceled “in light of the company’s current financial condition. If the IFL is unable to successfully leverage any of those options, the company may seek protection from its creditors through a court proceeding.”

Many thought the EliteXC broadcast on CBS would dramatically change the MMA landscape, and that a strong showing in primetime would lead to media outlets lusting after sport to help attract its highly valued demographic, but according to Larkin, that has not yet happened.

“The current business climate has shown us now that the tranition will need more time, and more thought and more creativity. And our current cash position will just not support us going forward (with an August event).”

Though many investors are sitting on the sidelines in the MMA game, Larkin says there is still interest in the sport and in the IFL.

“We’ve had conversations with media companies, film studios, television networks, individuals, celebrities. We have turned over a forest of rocks to see where the interest is… Everytime we have one of these conversations, the interest is very high, but they’re all being very cautious,” said Larkin.

While the company is on hiatus, Larkin says that his fight staff, Bas Rutten and Shannon Knapp, will continue to try to place IFL fighters in fights in other promotions. The IFL will not seek any fee from other promotions that might use IFL fighters.

Looking outside of the IFL and at the sport as a whole Larkin says many other promoters are painting a picture of the glass half full, when it is really half empty.

“Every MMA company is either inflating their numbers or out and out lying about their numbers.”

While many will continue to speculate that this is the end of the IFL, Larkin says that’s not the case.

“If the IFL were to decide the best thing for the shareholders were to close down business, that’s a very bad statement in an industry that’s looking to make nothing but good statements.”

(MMAPayout will have audio from the IFL conference call posted in the days to come.)

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