Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Big Ben, Whitehead, Gusmao Out of IFL Grand Prix

Top-seeded IFL heavyweight Ben Rothwell, as well as light heavyweights Mike Whitehead and Andre Gusmao, have been pulled from the IFL World Grand Prix, Sam Caplan at is reporting.

After the IFL was unable to secure signed commitments from each fighter for next season, Rothwell and Whitehead were pulled from the opening round of the Grand Prix, which is scheduled for November 3 in Chicago.

The IFL reportedly tried to finalize the 2008 contracts for Rothwell and Whitehead but felt that the fighters’ management (both are managed by Monte Cox) was not cooperating.

Despite not appearing in the Grand Prix, Whitehead and Rothwell are still under contract with the IFL, which has no intention of releasing these fighters is hoping to sign both fighters for next season.

Replacing Ben Rothwell will be N.Y Pitbulls heavyweight Bryan Vetell, who will fight Antoine Jaoude in the heavyweight tournament semis. In the other semifinal match Roy Nelson and Reese Andy meet.

As for Andre Gusmao, the Pitbulls light heavyweight has been forced out of action with a foot injury suffered during the IFL Team Finals. With Gusmao, Whitehead, and alternate Jamal Patterson unavailable for the tournament, Vladimir Matyushenko will fight Alex Schoenauer for the IFL light heavyweight title on Nov. 3.

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