With a lot of fights to sign and little time to do so in anticipation of its UFC Fight Night 14 card that is scheduled to oppose Affliction’s pay-per-view on July 19, the UFC apparently is turning to newcomers to help fill out the bout sheet.
MMAJunkie.com has reported in recent days that fights between Dale Hartt vs. Shannon Gugherty, Nate Loughran vs. Johnny Rees, and Brad Blackburn vs. James Giboo are all tentatively scheduled for the event.
UFN 14 would mark the official UFC debuts of all six fighters on a card that is already scheduled to feature bouts between Anderson Silva vs. James Irvin, Brandon Vera vs. Reese Andy, Frankie Edgar vs. Hermes Franca, Cain Velasquez vs. Jake O’Brien, and Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns.
The inclusion of Andy and Blackburn is very intriguing, as they were two of the IFL’s better fighters. In the past, it has been said that the UFC has such a bias against the upstart New York-based fight promotion that it wouldn’t sign any of its fighters.
However, there doesn’t appear to be a bias, as in recent months the UFC has selected former IFL fighters such as Gerald Harris, Mike Dolce, and Dante Rivera for the cast of its seventh installment of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality TV show. Now, with the recent signings of other former IFL fighters such as Blackburn, Andy, and Andre Gusmao in recent weeks, the anti-IFL theory has been blown completely out of the water.