Carlos Newton, Maurice Smith out as IFL coaches

According to Mike Russell of The Fight Network:

Continuing its recent overhaul, the IFL revealed this week it had dropped Carlos Newton and Maurice Smith as full-time coaches – along with the their teams in Toronto and Seattle – and replaced them with Ian Freeman and Mario Sperry. Freeman will direct a team based out of the United Kingdom, while Sperry will lead a team either in Tampa, Fla. or Las Vegas.

Another interesting thing to point out in this article is the following:

In addition to the traditional match-ups between the IFL’s base teams, next season’s events will include bouts with outside camps, which opens up the potential for teams like Randy Couture’s Xtreme Couture or Tito Ortiz’s Team Punishment to come in to compete. Former coaches – like Newton, Smith, Ken Yasuda and Frank Shamrock – will be encouraged to field teams at various events, as well. Favorito also said teams will no longer be required to field fighters in each weight class.

With the IFL cutting ties with the “old school” guys like Frank Shamrock and Don Frye, it’s not a surprise that the IFL has decided to cut Carlos Newton and Maurice Smith as coaches, either. It seems that the IFL is trying to do a complete facelift on their product and bring it into a newer era of MMA. Signing two guys like Ian Freeman and Brazilian Top Team’s Mario Sperry to run a team can only help in the long run.

Also, the idea of having outside camps compete with IFL teams is brilliant. The team concept was and still is a pet peeve of mine, but they are doing their best to keep it fresh. Being able to have UFC fighters like Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture assemble teams to compete on their shows will help get people talking about the IFL. For as rocky as their financial situation is, it seems like they’re doing some positive things.

16 COMMENTS
  • Accomando says:

    “…IFL has decided to cut Carlos Newton and Maurice Smith as coaches…”

    Funny stuff.

    I read an interiew in FightSport magazine about 6 months ago that was all about Maurice Smith. Mo was talking shit about K-1 and the UFC and how they treated him like shit.

    He then, was singing the praises of the IFL and thier approach with the fighters. He added something to the effect of, “..I look forward to working with them for the next 10 years..”

    Just slightly ironic.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Joe says:

    Smith got fired for being a jackass and trying to fire all of his fighters after they complained about him to the IFL.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Joe says:

    The Seattle show was the IFL’s number 1 event. The Seattle team was good.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Asa says:

    I think the weight classes were the only interesting part of the teams, and now they’re getting rid of them? its just gonna make it harder to follow, and less likely to develop recurring fans.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • [...] wacky move by the IFL. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, but I still find it funny that the IFL fired both their black coaches on the same day. Overall I have no idea why they continue to slowly axe team after team. It’s [...]

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • hbdale309 says:

    I like the changes they are making so far. In addition, I think the IFL should get rid of all those lame teams. Replace them all w/ fighter camps. For example, Punishment, Couture, Chute Boxe, BTT, AKA, ATT, Militech, Gracie, etc. That would kick ass. Switch to a cage to keep up the pace and make it more appealing to the younger fans.

    Thank goodness they are replacing HW w/ FW – that’s such a great idea.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Joe says:

    adding those teams would be cool but there are other places in the US that have good fighters. Matt Hume has his gym is Seattle and there are others that train there as well.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Herman says:

    As of today, at least one fighter who signed an ’08 contract with one of the “cut” teams has heard nothing about this. Not sure what to make of it, but you would think they would have informed the fighters by now if it was true.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Herman says:

    Also, the aforementioned “cut” teams are still on the IFL website. In fact, I could not find any info on this “cut” anywhere on the site. Where does this info come from? A week after this news came out there is still nothing to back up this story. It could be true, but it seems unlikely at this point. Maybe I’m wrong.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Joe says:

    As for cut teams it may be the IFL positioning itself to fire the coaches without issue and trying to get new coaches for those teams. It makes no sense not to have a team in Seattle since they had their best show there. They are not telling the fighters much. I know 3 of them under contract for next year and one of them is fighting for the title next month. But it would not surprise me if they dont cut them all together.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Mo's Daughter says:

    I know the facts personally, and they should not have fired him…. There was WAY more drama involved and a lot of back stabbing and betrayal. And the fighters should toughen up if they want to be “FIGHTERS” and learn from the REAL champion. My dad put seattle on the map as far as fighting goes. So his team should have stop crying and grow the F up, and learn from the best. They messed themselves over.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Original Team Mo Fighter says:

    If they did fire Mo because of the antics of his fighters than that was a mistake. As a Maurice Smith fighter, I know how great of a coach he is and how hard he works and worked during his amazing career. His fighters were a bunch of f’n candy a$$’s and should have just worked hard and cut out the drama QUEEN crap. Made me sick to hear what they did. Are they fighters or silly little fruits that expect to be babied and cuddled.. And yes, Seattle did host the best show for the IFL this year.. That was real smart to let that team go.. Oh, and they wanted to bring in younger coaches that can attract the younger guys… Please, most people have never heard of those guys.. Your everyday person has never heard of the new coaches.. What a joke…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Joe says:

    Gee…I guess you have all of the facts….The IFL is trying to build a brand around the “TEAM” concept. Mo was never on a team. If the team hates your ass you get fired in most team sports. Mo should have learned his lesson after being talked to by the IFL. You dont lie to your team members, you dont tell them your going to fire their team mates. Do you think coaches go around telling guys on the cowboys going to fire their position coaches or other guys on the team. hell no they dont it is bad for MORALE. All fighters know they got to perform or they dont get to keep fighting. Making fun of them and other crap doesnt make anyone want to be in that environment.

    He must not have noticed the IFL loved Shad Lierley and Brad Blackburn. Lierley was fight of the year and Mo
    fired him and Brad and Brad KO’d the #1 fighter. But guess what Lierley still got a title shot and Blackburn got another fight too. Both will fight in the IFL again.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Original Team Mo Fighter says:

    Judging by the way you write, I would guess that you were on that IFL team, or knew someone on it. Maybe you are the candy ass that was all butt hurt because Mo said you hit like a girl, poor baby. Some guys are just not cut out to be men. You also wrote as though you have never played on a football team or any rough team sport cause I dont ever remember my coaches babying us and not calling us names. It goes along with the territory and men just take it for what it is and keep training. We have two 155 lbs original Team Mo fighters that can KO Shad with out problems and from what I hear, I actually missed one of them knocking out Shad during sparring and I don’t see Shad ever wanting to get back in the ring with him. Then again, once he(Mo’s fighter) gets his ground game better, I cant see anyone in the IFL at 155 beating him. But he is a Maurice trained fighter and is tough and technical.
    So what if the IFL loves Shad. He didn’t even have that many pro fights. His record is misleading…. NO, I take that back. His record is right there for everyone to see.. He did well in a few fights. BIG DEAL. Lets not get carried away and think he was 10-0 or 10-2 for God sakes. His stand up game was on the bottom side of DECENT at best and he owes what little he improved to Mo cause it takes a lot longer than a year to learn stand up and he should have taken advantage of training with Mo for that year. The same guy that KO’ed Shad in sparring would have KO’ed Hordeski standing up in an MMA fight. I have nothing personal against Shad but lets not put him up too high since he has not been fighting long enough to earn that respect. Not to mention, that fight with Hordeski wasnt even close. He got beat pretty bad. The only reason it was good was because Shad never got hit clean and stayed standing up but if you really watch that fight, shad never really got many hits on Hordeski.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Outlaw says:

    All you guys taliking about the Seattle Tiger Sharks and the reason Maurice Smith got fired,don’t know jack. Although Joe is very close to the truth. We got the real 411 and the proof as to why Maurice Smith was fired by the IFL. He was fired because he was being a jack ass to his fighters and the IFL knew it. He was fired because of a letter that surfaced and was signed by the whole Tiger Shark team, meaning all the fighters not the assistant coaches. This signed letter was sent to the owners of the IFL because Maurice Smith was destroying the team and the morale of the fighters. The team didn’t even want to fight for this jack ass accept for one guy close to him spilled the beans to Mo about the letter before the team went to Chicago to fight. No one is denying the fact that Mo was a good fighter back in the day but he couldn’t coach a team of grown men. He tried to intimidate, threaten and force team fighters in to doing things Mo’s way and only Mo’s way. He played with and tried to control fighters money and to this day still owes a substantial amount of money to a fighter who was on the Tiger Sharks. He also went out of his way to destroy and bad mouth fighters and assistant coaches he thought had anything to do with the letter. Maurice Smith destroyed the Seattle Tiger Sharks and got just what he deserved. And now the IFL is getting what they deserve because they knew Maurice was a bad coach but they were stuck with him. They couldn’t fire him at the time because the letter broke right before the big IFL Chicago fight event. Plus the IFL didn’t want to face the media about all the drama Mo was causing on the Tiger Sharks team. The Tiger Shark team fighters were all good guys and the IFL didn’t do enough to protect them when they asked the company for help. The IFL talked out of both sides of their mouths when it came to this situation. NOTE > ABOUT SHAD LIERLEY) Shad was set up in practice to get hurt. The plan was for the other 155 lb fighter to try and hurt Shad and hopefully knock Shad out. Because someone didn’t think Shad could beat Chris Hordeki at the Everett fight. Now you people reading this can guess who’s plan this was. Anyway here is a copy of the letter that was signed by the Tiger Shark fighters and sent to the IFL, this is the letter the IFL didn’t want people to see. The IFL covered up and didn’t want this information to get out to the media and it’s stock holders. Judge for yourself.

    Mr. Kurt Otto
    Commissioner, International Fight League
    424 W. 33rd Street, Suite 650
    New York, NY 100001

    March 9, 2007

    Dear Mr. Otto,

    We would appreciate an opportunity to address important issues regarding the IFL team,
    The Seattle Tiger Sharks. Especially, we need to discuss the management style of the head coach,
    Maurice Smith. He does not seem to understand team dynamics and how to motivate athletes.
    What he lacks as a coach is harming the team and is jeopardizing the team’s chance for success.
    We believe that Maurice has failed to live up to and promote the best interests of the IFL. Instead,
    He seems to be the opposite of what the IFL is trying to represent. A single team member can start a downward spiral in a team or an organization and we believe that this is what is happening in our team.

    Please consider the following observations regarding Maurice’s coaching:

    In his adult career, Maurice has been an individual athlete rather than part of a team.
    His lack of experience as a team member has resulted in his ability to be an
    effective coach and an inspiring leader. He has not demonstrated that he has a vision
    for the team and he lacks an apparent concern for the team’s health and well-being.
    Consequently, athletes are unsure of their position on the team, the roles they can
    assume and the expectations the team and coaches have of them.

    He puts his personal needs ahead of the needs of the team. His decision-making
    seems arbitrary, according to his own needs and dismissive of the needs of athletes
    and the team. He is not a capable facilitator and seems unwilling to be challenged or
    to hear constructive criticism from the athletes. He does not hold group meetings,
    which serve to construct strong team identity and allegiance. Instead, he speaks to
    athletes individually, which is divisive to a team, and leaves each team member with
    different pieces of information rather than having a complete picture of team goals.

    His behavior indicates a lack of compassion and a lack of wisdom about coach /
    athlete dynamics. He lacks the patience or desire to teach the newer athletes,
    preferring to work with already-established athletes. He often appears to be egotistical,
    abrasive and argumentative. When working with athletes, he comes across as
    demeaning, condescending and manipulative. He manages by issuing threats,
    ultimatums, and criticisms. He is quick to tear fighters apart and unwilling to give
    compliments, thanks, or positive feedback. In the case of an upcoming athlete who
    has temporarily lost self-confidence, Maurice’s harsh criticism and handling can result
    in the loss of an athlete’s ability to feel like a viable part of the team. Maurice is
    incapable of offering the affirmation and consolation that good coaches offer athletes.

    Maurice’s coaching style does not promote a healthy learning environment in the
    training facility. He is not accessible or receptive to the athletes and has failed to earn
    their respect and trust, with the result being the loss of control of the team. His
    constant berating and lack of positive reinforcement or congratulations for work done
    well has undermined the spirit of the individuals and of the team. His behavior ranges
    from childish, when giving the athletes and assistant coaches the “silent treatment”, to
    punishing, when issuing and unnecessary threat to put a primary athlete on “reserve”
    status. Team members are not as eager to come to the gym when he is there and the
    atmosphere in the gym dives when he enters. On several occasions in the past,
    Maurice has been absent from the team for extended periods of time to conduct his
    personal business. During that time, the assistant coaches covered for him and the
    team functioned like a well-oiled machine. Once he returned, the mood in the gym
    returned to its “normal” state, which is not conducive to building a strong team.

    Maurice lacks business and money-management skills. He exhibits questionable
    choices when it comes to allotments awarded to athletes. We believe that he has
    under-paid athletes and his poor management of team finances has created problems.
    On two occasions, athletes did not receive their training stipend checks.

    Maurice has released two assistant coaches who have been with the team since the
    beginning of the IFL. Since the release of these two assistant coaches, the team morale and
    training atmosphere have changed dramatically. Both of these coaches were positive influences on
    the team and the athletes felt very comfortable voicing their concerns over team and private
    issues. Team members could talk to them openly and feel heard by them and receive positive
    reinforcement and encouragement from them. Since their departure, the athletes no longer have
    this outlet and support.

    Having found ourselves in a bad position, which is getting worse, we have come forward
    on behalf of the team. It is our true hope that this letter might result in constructive change for
    the team. And, we ask that our letter be considered as coming with the best intentions for the
    team and be without reprisals for the athletes.

    Thank you for your consideration of our observations and suggestions in what we believe
    to be a very troubled time for our team.

    cc: Gareb Shamus
    CEO, International Fight League
    424 W. 33rd Street, Suite 650
    New York, NY 10001

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Outlaw says:

    So you see the IFL knew Mo was a problem but had to wait for the right time to get rid of him. His firing as coach of the Settle Tiger Sharks had noting, nothing to do with him being black. He got fired like Joe said, being a jack ass to his fighters and everyone else. Word has it that anyone who has ever done business or been close to Mo has had problems with him and has ended up on his bad side. Even his old long time manager. Mo was a good fighter no doubt but a bad coach when it came to dealing with his team. He let his huge ego and big mouth destroy both his job and the Tiger Sharks, plus alienated long time friends. Mo all you had to do was be a decent guy to your team but instead you thought your ego was bigger than the IFL and your team. Guess what you were wrong.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

LEAVE A COMMENT!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Follow 5OZ