There are a lot of positives of getting to go to Las Vegas for UFC 79, but there were a few negatives, like missing out on Yarennoka! and the finals of the IFL World Grand Prix. I’m slowly catching up on everything via YouTube.
The IFL has been gracious enough to make their fights available legally via YouTube, allowing me to see that I missed some great fights, including an all out brawl between Rory Markham and Brett Cooper.
You can check out both rounds of the thrilling encounter between the two right here.
This was just one of many upsets on the card but I think this could be the biggest. The 20-year old Cooper was discovered during the IFL’s draft tryouts in Los Angeles. During the New York tryouts, I saw some complete unknowns emerge like Levon Maynard and Torrance Taylor. Clearly, Cooper was at the top of the list of diamonds in the rough uncovered by the IFL during their recent tryout process.
I had heard the LA tryouts were tough. So tough that Kit Cope didn’t even make it into the finals. In defense of Cope, all indications was that he was still not 100% following knee surgery. But the point it, the talent quality at the LA tryouts was said to have been strong and Cooper is validation of the fact.
All I know about Cooper is that he has heavy hands and can obviously take a punch. He has back-to-back wins now over name opponents in Jason Von Flue and Markham. He also suffered a loss early in his career to Ed Ratcliff, a strong prospect who is now with the WEC. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Cooper in ’08 and am curious what other prospects the IFL tryout process uncovered.