Wizard Entertainment CEO Gareb Shamus has left his position at the IFL, the mixed martial arts league he co-founded in 2006. Jay Larkin, a former Showtime exec, takes over Shamus’s positions.

The International Fight League, the world’s number one team-based professional mixed martial arts league, today announced a change in its senior leadership, naming Jay Larkin acting Chief Executive Officer.

Larkin, who had joined the IFL as President and Chief Operating Officer on September 21, 2007, replaces IFL co-founder Gareb Shamus, who resigned his positions as chairman and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Shamus will remain available to the IFL as a consultant.

Taking a sports and entertainment entity from an idea to an established brand in 14 months is nothing short of amazing. Gareb should be commended for his vision and leadership during that period,” Larkin said.

Not sure where this fits in with all the recent reshuffles at Wizard. Various Wizard entities, including the conventions, had spent many resources promoting the IFL.


  1. “The International Fight League, the world’s number one team-based professional mixed martial arts league”

    Is there a number 2?

  2. The IFL has been such a failure. They had a decent spot on MyNetwork – Mondays from 8pm to 10pm – and they screwed up from the start. Even after the reboot, where they put the awesome Bas Rutten as co-host, they never gave anyone a reason to make the Monday show a must-see. The only exciting fight that came from the last season was Chris Horodecki vs. Bart Palaszewski, and they never pushed it outside their market. I never saw an ad for their live special, which had the rematch of Horodecki/Palaszewski.

    They’ve spent money like crazy and have yet to made a profit. Even with the restructuring, I don’t see IFL lasting past 2008.

  3. In some markets, the live show was cut in half, only showing 1 hour of the show.

    I think IFL is just too “sportsy” for the MMA crowd, most of whom seem to like the flair and pizzazz of UFC and before it died, Pride.

  4. The IFL is the weakest of the team sports. The dish-shaped forum and single round fights don’t work. The World Combat League is more impressive.

  5. I agree with one of the comment above. It’s too “sportsy” to the MMA enthusiasts. Also, the biggest challenge for any martial arts to be get more mainstream (with an exception: boxing) is the marketing/packaging. We don’t have the “Don King” in MMA who really understands how to sell MMA to the general crowds. UFC’s Dana White has done much better job than IFL’s owner in this case.

    Muay Trance

  6. Evening…,

    I enjoyed reading your post as it is relevant to today and I thought I’d add another comment.

    Its an interesting topic and should be discussed. Ill check back soon for any added comments, thanks.

    It would be great to get this thread really active again!

    martial arts news and information

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