The world is experiencing the infancy of the growth
of world professional fighting team leagues.The idea of team fighting in boxing
and martial arts is not a new one.There were matches of amateur and professional
team fighting in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but on a very small scale.Promoters
in professional boxing and karate occasionally matched fighters together from different regions to drum up support for their
Today, there are two major sports leagues that
hope to establish themselves on the world market.The first is Chuck Norris’
World Combat League (WCL), which is comprised of eight teams all located in the United States.They are:
Los Angeles Stars
New York Clash
The World Combat League can be viewed on cable’s
The other world fighting league is The International
Fight League (IFL), which is currently comprised of eleven teams based in the United States,
Canada and Japan.In 2008, the league will introduce a team from the United Kingdom.The teams in the IFL
Anacondas, Los Angeles, California
Tigersharks, Seattle, Washington
Pitbulls, New York, New York
San Jose, California
Orange County, California
Boxing also has a fight league called The World
Boxing League (WBL).It was founded in 1997, and had its initial start in St. Petersburg,
Florida in 2002. But there is no other information on the league.They are still in existence, but no fights.I left messages
with the commissioner via phone and I hope to have answers about the WBL soon.I
presume the league may have reorganized.According to the World Boxing League’s
official website the inaugural season is 2007, the season will contain:
·Professional Team Boxing
·Patented Scoring Methodology
·Team Results and Standings
·Team Uniforms, Logos & Mascots
·Five round bouts
·Smaller rings for increased action
·North American Playoffs
·World Individual Championships
·Fan Entertainment & Interaction
·No Sanctioning Organizations
·WBL (Hybrid League Structure)
·Return to the sport as the “Sweet Science”
·Innovative technology; e.g. Ref Cam & The Punch Meter
Between the three leagues, it seems the IFL has
the financial muscle to become a major fight presence immediately.
The IFL was founded January 7, 2006 by real estate
developer, Kurt Otto and Wizard Magazine founder, Gareb Shamus, two well-financed devotees of mixed martial arts who were
inspired by the tragic HBO documentary, The Smashing Machine, about the life and career of the late mixed martial artist,
Mark Kerr.Otto and Shamus would like to elevate the livelihoods of mixed martial
arts fighters, many of them living meagerly, training without steady incomes and only earning small fight purses when they
With the IFL, they intend to create a system not
only showcasing mixed martial arts but also provide a business plan that will allow fighters to share more of the profits
of the sport.Instead of paying fighters after the fights, they are given a salary
and health benefits to train and fight.The team concept is also conducive for
television, where episodes can be regularly produced the continuing storyline of an ongoing season.
The IFL is already a growing financial force in
the world of the fighting sports.Experts in sports and entertainment has speculated
that the wealth of its founders, an innovative business plan and its television deal with Fox Sports Net and MyNetworkTV will
cause the league to become a dominant force in the fight industry.
Currently, the IFL and the Ultimate Fighting Championship
(UFC) has hostilities between them.The UFC have accused the IFL for illegally
using propriety information obtained by hiring UFC executives. The IFL countered claiming the UFC was threatening potential
partners to not work with the IFL, in which UFC failed to persuade Fox Sports Net not to work with the IFL.
So far the IFL is the only known league to have
publicly traded stock.The MMA fans have a chance to own a piece of the company.
If you are interested in owning shares in the
IFL, its stock is traded on the Over The Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB), which is owned by the National Association of Securities
Dealers (NASD).To view their daily stock quote, just visit their website at
As for the World Combat League, they are privately
owned, the sole owner is martial art six time world champion and martial arts media star, Chuck Norris.The World Combat League is looking for new fighters to fill their future teams.If you are interested in competing, you can obtain an application on their website at:
In the World Combat League, there are no grappling
or ground fighting, the fights are stand up in nature, utilizing techniques of Muay Thai, Boxing, Karate, Kickboxing, Kung
Fu and Tae Kwon Do.
There is a six month season, each fighter fight
two three minute rounds.This gives the effect of a fast paced fight. Fighters
that are proven to be “fan favorites” will receive lucrative advertising contracts.Each team will be a “franchise” of the World Combat League.
The World Boxing League has not formally announced
its start but according to their website it plans to offer their fighters:
A regular salary
No monies taken by promoters, managers, trainers,
pay, based on performance, i.e.: playoffs, world cup, world individual championships, all star team, etc.
Support of a team environment.
Steady predictable work
Potential for Endorsements.
Safety requirements for all boxers.
A patented scoring methodology.
Phillip A. Penston III, is the founder, chairman and CEO
of the WBL.He is a founder and author of a patent. Promoter of eleven world
title fights, a former NBA Player Agent and a consultant for World Wide Management, KPMG and ProVantage Consulting.
As you can see this is the beginning of a new era for
the fighting sports. There is an opportunity for more players to interact with
the sports and produce a well structured salary, which can help the fighter stay in the sport full time without difficulty.
And for the first time, a public offering of stock is
offered in a fighting sport, the average Joe can own a fight team thanks to the IFL.
Only time will tell about the new fight leagues, but one
thing is certain, there will be more fight leagues in the future to compete with them!