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Exclusive: Randy Couture to be at IFL World Grand Prix this Saturday ( has learned that Randy Couture will be at the IFL’s first-ever World Grand Prix this Saturday to corner Jay Hieron, who will be participating in the welterweight tournament.

The first leg of the WGP is scheduled to take place at the Sears Center in Chicago and will determine finalists for the lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, and heavyweight titles to be crowned for the first time in league history on Dec. 29 in Uncasville, Connecticut.

However, one title will be decided on Saturday when Vladimir Matyushenko and Alex Schoenauer battle for the light heavyweight crown. The Matyushenko vs. Schoenauer match will be televised live in the U.S. on MyNetworkTV at 9 p.m. ET along with a lightweight semifinal bout between Chris Horodecki and Bart Palaszewski.

Schoenauer and Horodecki, who train with IFL color commentator Bas Rutten, have also spent recent time at Couture’s Xtreme Couture gym in Las Vegas preparing for their matches.

The fact that Couture is cornering Hieron is very interesting. IFL president and COO Jay Larkin indicated on Tuesday that the team-based fight league is considering a plan to do away with city affiliations in favor of re-branding the teams as fight camps. Might Saturday’s appearance be a prelude to Couture coaching his fighters in the IFL on a full-time basis in 2008?

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