Posted 2/22/07 12:49:00PM
It's too fast.
After watching the K-1 show, there's something to be said for smooth production that transitions quickly. But the IFL takes that practice too far.
I watched IFL Battleground last night and was struck by the brief exposure each fight or fighter received. The program would give a quirky and brief intro to, say, Matt Horwich and then quickly go to his fight. Following the fight, however, the show either went to commercial or showed wannabe ring girls or something altogether different. As for Matt Horwich? We heard nothing more. Worse, Horwich was portrayed as a very unique character. For someone so unique and so one-of-a-kind, one would think finding camera time to be an easy task.
Obviously that approach stands in stark contrast to the drawn-out "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series, but it's also in contrast to the UFC events. Aside from the hype leading up to the fight, there's also the hype during the event, discussion of the fighters during the fight, and in-ring interviews following each match. Even if you don't know the fighter, you get a much clearer sense of who they are following each fight, or at least, you generally learn enough to remember something.
The IFL is so concerned with making sure "something is going on" during the program that they run rough shod over of the most critical aspects of promoting combat athletics: creating stars. Last night's program gave a lot of camera time to Jay Hieron, but when will we see him again? Next week will feature different fights from different teams, so Hieron will be placed on the back burner in favor of the flavor du jour.
The IFL has stated their mission to create their own stars, but that's proving to be very difficult. Creating names and figures out of (virtually) thin air is a task that requires time. With rumors circulating that the IFL won't even be around past the fourth quarter, its safe to say the sand in the hourglass may be shifting too quickly to keep pace.