The IFL kicks off its relationship with USA Wrestling this weekend at the World Team Trials according to an article at NBC Sports. For all the things wrong with the IFL, aligining itself with USA Wrestling is great for both parties. USA Wrestling gets TV exposure and the IFL will have a talent pool of great wrestlers to draw from. But that’s not the only thing the IFL is doing right. They have the right mindset in terms of educating people about the various facets of the sport. The event this weekend is a demonstration of how wrestling can be translated to the world of MMA.
“Our goal is to not have wrestling overshadowed,” IFL commissioner and co-founder Kurt Otto said. “We want to work with USA Wrestling as a vehicle to educate wrestlers about MMA. The more they come to clinics, they’ll see it’s not human cockfighting. It’s a pure sport.”
Not only does it allow wrestlers to see how wrestling is involved with MMA, it lets fans see how wrestling is a huge part of MMA. For those who are just now becoming fans of the sport due to increased media exposure, there are a lot of things to learn. And this is a step in the right direction to educating fans about MMA and all the various martial arts involved.
“It’s one more piece to the puzzle as far as taking MMA mainstream,” Otto said. “We feel comfortable working with them.”
Exactly. It’s all about making the sport legitimate.
Kurt Otto has the correct mindset as far as the sport goes. Educate the people about technique and the sport becomes much more exciting and accepted. This weekend, Matt Lindland and IFL fighter Bryan Vettell will hold clinics to show how wrestling techniques can be applied to MMA. If the IFL was smart, they would tape some of the clinics and air them on IFL Battleground. Educating more people about things other than striking is great for the sport.
I have a feeling it will be all for naught, though, considering that the IFL’s financial future doesn’t look so good at this point. Oh well, at least they’re trying.