ITFL Season 4
Grant Brophy is sat in his office, looking out the window following a big event in Troid which launched them back into the top 10. Sure, celebrations were on his mind, but he knew the hard work was only just beginning.
Soon to be held in Troid was the prestigious ITFL tournament. Shortfuse had run this tournament successfully, and now he was looking to Grant to take it over and continue it’s history of being a great tournament to be involved in.
Grant had to talk to a lot of people to get this to work, devising a format everyone would compete with, and that was the first challenge that faced him.
Now, however, it seemed everything was now falling into place. All the fighters are signed, all the events were booked, and now it was just a case of ensuring the captains made their fight picks quickly and efficiently following each event.
Grant had another glance out the window before getting up to go to the first of Troid’s newly launched Post Fight Press Conferences. He got into his car, and had a think about the teams participating in this season. He smiled when he heard about the teams that were entering, as he knew that the calibre of managers and fighters would ensure the tournament was a success. A quick flashback to the meetings with each team reminded Grant of how each team was formed……
Shortfuse and Blunts are sat in Shortfuse’s apartment, both talking about the Tycoon world and about their fighters. They begin to reminisce about Team Conquer’s showing in Season 3 of the ITFL, remembering how The Antidote, Stu Pidasol, Jbomb and Johnny Sorrow joined Blunts on the team on their way to finishing second behind Team Davies.
Shortfuse begins to think about the ITFL, and he wondered how it would fair now that it had been taken over by Grant Brophy at Troid. Brophy had recently made the announcement of the fourth season, and their topic changed to Team Conquer possibly entering it.
Shortfuse: I am thinking we could grab some of our guys and get Antidote in here again. Would just need another guy to sort our team.
Blunts: I dunno, I think just getting any team we can together would be pointless. I don’t wanna put out a mediocre team for the sake of entering.
Shortfuse: Fair point there. I’ll put the feelers out and see if we can get some other guys to join us.
Following that, Shortfuse would send out a few messages, and it would be a few days before he would get the responses he was waiting for.
A quick trip to Los Angeles would follow, and to one place in particular: Winston’s. Blunts and Shortfuse took a seat at a table, and ordered 7 drinks, 2 for themselves and 5 for the people they expected. The first person to walk in was their old friend, The Antidote. Antidote would take a seat and take an immediate swig of his drink.
Shortfuse: Hey Antidote. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen you. I’ll get straight to the point. We need some fighters for Team Conquer this season. Blunts doesn’t have any guys, and I have Durlag Trollkiller entering. You got any guys we can throw in?
Antidote: Sure, I saw the requirements. I can enter Itse Perkele and Pernell Whitaker Jr if you want? Would mean we need one less guy.
Shortfuse: Actually, I was hoping you would put two guys in. We’re just waiting on some more guys, and if it goes to plan, we could have our whole team sorted.
No sooner had Shortfuse said that than four men all entered the room. All of them pulling up a seat, it took a small glance around the table before their faces were recognised by all the men. Ethan Downs, Louie DePalma, Gale Hawthorne and Rodrigo Costa all said their greetings, and immediately got down to the discussion of who to enter. All of them were happy to enter, and within a matter of minutes, Team Conquer had secured their team for the season. Downs would enter Jamal Jackson, Louie would enter Anakoni Kai, Gale would enter Bruce Wayne, and finally, Rodrigo Costa would enter Jay Gatsby.
All men finished their drinks, shook hands, and with that, only Shortfuse, Blunts and Antidote were left at the table, all smiling with the result of the meeting, and happy enough that they all ordered another drink to celebrate.
Joe River was sat in his garden, still recovering from the months of health issues he suffered from, as he was listening to the radio. It had been a long and hard road for Joe, but while he wasn’t back to his full strength physically, the battle has made him much stronger mentally.
He had been out of it for a while with all things MMA, and had recently been inviting his Dogs of War friends over to his house to get all the latest happenings, while also using it as a chance to catch up.
He heard a knock on the door, and then heard his wife tell him he had a visitor. Opening up another beer for his guest, he took a long gulp of his own. The seat next to his was promptly taken, and his guest took a mouthful.
Joe: Hey buddy, how have you been getting on?
Bjorn: I’ve been really good Joe. Been having some run ins with a few managers, but nothing I can’t handle. How have you been?
Joe: I’ve been pretty good. You should just ignore any managers who try starting shit with you, it’s not worth it. I’ve not really been around much so I dunno what has been going on in the Tycoon world.
Bjorn: I know, but I just really hate bullies and I wouldn’t let them think they can continue their harassment of me. It’s good to have you back Joe, the rest of the alliance will be glad to see you at the meeting. Will we head off?
Joe: Sure, just let me finish this part of the radio programme
As Joe listens to the radio, he suddenly finds his show has been interrupted.
Radio: Breaking news now as it has just been announced by Troid owner Grant Brophy that the fourth season of the hit tournament “The International Team Fighting League”, more commonly known as the ITFL, will begin in late July or Early August. Teams are advised to sign up quickly, and Mr Brophy has said further details will be provided over the next week.
Joe gets an interested look on his face, and a smile slowly creeps onto it as well.
Joe: Bjorn...I think I just had an idea
Joe and Bjorn get a cab to the local bar, and they find most of the members of the Dogs of War already waiting for them. They all give a cheer as Joe walks in, and they sit down and order a cold beer each.
Scooby: Great to see you back Joe, been waiting a while to see you at one of these meetings again.
Joe: Thanks Scooby, it’s good to be back. I have to ask though, where are the rest of the guys?
Frank: Some freak storm happened in Europe mate. None of the planes can get through, so their trip home from their lads holiday to Magaluf got cancelled mate.
Joe: Damn, that sucks to hear, but listen, I wanna come back in style, and I have a great idea. You heard that the next season of the ITFL is starting right?
Frank: Yeah I heard it mate. I asked Shortfuse about it cos I could have taken it over but Grant took it over mate. I’ve been waiting for him to announce when it would begin Joe mate.
Joe: Well, there was a breaking news story before we came over, and he announced Season 4 was beginning in late July or early August. I can’t think of a better way to come back than to enter a tournament with you guys.
Joe then goes on to list the rules of the tournament, and there is a general nod of agreement that they would enter a team.
Frank: I can enter Jack Daniels into it mate. He is the 170lbs champ in Troid already so I think he would do really well for us mate.
Bjorn: I can enter Fabian Hoi into it too. He’s had some top managers in the past and I manage to get him over a bunch of top managers when he was an FA. He would be a great entry for us!
Jeremiah: Hey guys, I know I am pretty new around here, and it is great to meet you Joe, but I have a guy I would love to enter. I wanna show I am ready to represent us. I think with some help from you guys, that my fighter Joe Louis could do really well for us.
Joe: It’s cool Jeremiah, once you are in with us, you are treated as an equal. We would love for Joe Louis to be on the team. I can enter Bernhard Adelhard into it. I count that as four guys, we got any more?
The rest of the guys shake their heads and start saying they don’t have anyone.
Joe: We need three more guys, anyone know people we can enter?
Bjorn: I know a spot we can go to where a bunch of managers hang out. I’m sure we can find some guys there who will join.
Joe and Bjorn hop aboard a jet, with their destination being the Big Apple, New York City. They enter the renowned Southside, and sit up the bar while observing some of the managers there. Bjorn feels a pat on his shoulder, and he turns to see JLP standing right in front of him.
JLP: How are you doing Bjorn? Haven’t seen you for a while. Been busy I guess?
Bjorn: Hey JLP! Yeah it’s been a while, but I have to fly to a lot of places for business you know. Actually, I am here on business right now. We are entering a team in the next season of the ITFL, and we need three more managers for our team. Do you have anyone you can enter?
JLP: I can slip you Artie DeVanzo I suppose, just need to clear a couple of things with him first.
Bjorn: That’s great, we just need two more now!
Joe: Hey, that’s Topo Topologies over there! I’m gonna ask him.
As Joe walks over and explains the situation, Topo begins to smile and nod along.
Topo: Sure, I can enter Antoni Kristofer Hong. Be a cool experience for him.
With the Dogs now having 6 of their 7 members, they began scouring the bar for their last member. They hear laughter coming from around the corner, and as they look around, they see Dino sitting in the corner with the a number of the Keriskov clan. Bjorn immediately strides over to the corner, stopping briefly to talk to Joe.
Bjorn: I can get Dino on the team, we will have this tournament sorted.
Joe: Uh Bjorn wait, don’t you think we should…
Joe never got to finish his sentence, as Bjorn was already on his way over to the Scotsman, and the laughter from the corner died as they noticed Bjorn approaching.
Bjorn: Hey Dino! Great to see the Kersikovs here with you!
Dino: Well, they are my fighters…
Bjorn: Oh yeah, of course. Anyway, I was coming over because I wanted to ask you about the ITFL. We are getting a team together, and we only need one more member. I think if you joined our team, we could win it with ease!
Dino takes a moment to compose himself, before he replied.
Dino: Bjorn, do you know what one of my favourite quotes is? No? Well I will tell you. You have heard of Billy Connolly right? Well known Scottish comedian? Yeah? Good. Anyone, this quote comes from him.
“Fuck Off. It’s such a lovely pair of words, and it’s international. I don’t care where you are, if someone is fucking with your bags, at Lhasa Airport in Tibet, and he’s got a shaven head, and saffron clothes on, and you say “Hey! Fuck off!” He knows exactly what you mean. Exactly. He will Fuck Off, Off he will Fuck. Fuck Off doesn’t mean go away, Fuck Off means Fuck Off, and everybody feels what it means. Nobody can write it down (ironic when I include it in a written post I know). There is no English equivalent for Fuck Off, because it is English Fuck Off, ya know? English expressions don’t have English equivalents, because they are, ya know.”
Now, having quote this to you Bjorn, can you guess what my next words are?
Bjorn: Fuck off?
Dino: Don’t talk to me like that ya wee prick. Now, fuck off.
As Bjorn walks back to the bar, he sees another person talking to Joe and JLP.
Joe: Hey Bjorn, we just found our seventh member for the team! Meet Whymar Von Mastodon!
Whymar: Hey Bjorn. I wanna join the team, and I can put Wilder Wein on the team.
Bjorn grins widely at this, and as he looks back at Dino and the Kersikovs, he hears them laughing when one makes another joke about the fuck off quote.
Bjorn: Perfect, now we can dominate this tournament.
The party of managers all make it back on the jet, and after returning to the pub, they find Frank King shaking his head as his fighter Jack Daniels is unconscious in the corner.
Joe: What happened Frank?
Frank: It’s his alcohol addiction mate. He came in here saying he should be constantly celebrating, being the champ and all that mate. He ordered drink after drink and I just couldn’t stop him mate. He’s gonna have to go to rehab for this Joe, he won’t be able to join the ITFL now mate!
The rest of the team shake their heads, wondering if there were going to be any more hiccups along the way. The door to the bar opens, and the man walks up to the group.
Uncle Lar: Been a while fellas, I only just made it back from Witness Protections!
Joe: Lar! Great to see you buddy, how are you doing?
Lar: Better now I don’t have to keep watching my back.
Lar notices Frank trying to revive Jack in the corner
Lar: What the hell happened to him?
Joe: Alcohol happened. Not surprising really. His first birthday present was a bottle of absinthe. Now we need to find another guy for our ITFL team.
Lar: ITFL? I heard the restrictions and wanted to talk to you about that actually. Mikaiah Rynn wants to enter on the team, said he wants the money for some venture or something.
Joe: That would be perfect! I’ll get the team sign up sheet now and send it off.
They all celebrated their team finally being finalised, and there has still been no sign of Jack Daniels since as he recovers in rehab.
James Listerman is occupied in his office in the middle of New York City. His different interests were taking their toll on his MMA management career, and he was contemplating hanging it up. A call came through from his secretary, who informed him his 12.30pm meeting was due in 10 minutes. Standing up and brushing himself off, he went into the meeting room, and sat down among his fellow Corporation members.
They went through the usual razzmatazz of meetings, and finally arrived at the A.O.B portion of the agenda.
Mark: So we’ve gotten promoted to Division 1. Since we are gonna stay there, we might as well capitalise and find some ways to show the other alliances we mean business.
Listerman: Well, I dunno if I will be much good for that. Thinking of calling it quits ya know. Got a lot of stuff going on right now outside the Tycoon world.
The discussion of potential ideas was disrupted momentarily by a brief argument between John Hetfield and Bob Vendarra over who had posted the hottest women in the “Beautiful Women” thread.
A brief intermission was called, and they all went to the office kitchen to get a cup of coffee. Listerman however would head outside in order to take a phone call from his old friends at MMA Hype - Brett and Jared. After nearly an hour of catching up with the duo, Listerman hung up and went back inside. When he returned to the meeting room, he noticed the rest of The Corporation looking particularly sheepish.
Listerman: Okay, I just got some good news from Brett and Jared over at MMA Hype.
Mark: We have some good news as well, but you go first.
Listerman: Well, the guys have saved up some cash over the years, and now they have decided to open an MMA Apparel store. For obvious reasons, they are calling it “MMA Hype Apparel” and they asked me to run it for them.
Aaron: That’s awesome to hear man, be good to give you something to focus on.
Listerman: So what’s your news?
At this moment, Mark directs him to the monitor on the wall. Listerman notes it is some kind of a press conference, and recognises Grant Brophy on the screen. Aaron then resumes the video.
Grant: It’s been in the works for a while to get this finalised, and now I am proud to announce the arrival of the fourth season of the ITFL! The format has changed somewhat, and we already have 5 of the 6 teams entered, so only one more space remains, and we hope to have them entered within a week.
The video ends there, and all eyes turn to Listerman.
Listerman: I’ll get onto Grant about it. We got enough guys for a team?
Bob: Well, since you were gone for a while, we had a look at our fighters, and we think we have a team that can compete well. We just need to talk to Ragnar about two of his fighters possibly entering.
After nearly a week, Ragnar finally got into contact with the rest of the team. Apparently he spent the week pillaging villages in his native Denmark on a stag do, but hey, to each their own. Ragnar agreed to enter his two fighters, and the appropriate paperwork was filled out.
As The Corporation chartered one of their jets to meet with Grant regarding entering, Listerman stopped before entering, and had one thought before boarding - “Stay Classy”
Somewhere in Finland, a place where really nobody knows but a select few, a group of men arrive at a barren location, where a single building is located. All men are hidden from view by their clothing, and as they enter, take a seat in a room while only removing their hoods.
The men became as recognisable as their notoriety was well known throughout the MMA world. The first person to speak was also the first man who entered the room.
Marky: Good to see you all again. It’s been a while, but I feel there has been a couple of recent issues that required some attention.
John: Hope it’s important, it’s a bastard to travel all the way out here.
Marky: Well firstly, it seems Castor has left the MMA scene for a while. Seems like he couldn’t go through on his quest to eradicate us, so a nice little point to start on. Next, there is an upcoming ITFL season. Now, we almost had a chance to defend our title in the World Domination tournament, but that got changed to a Gangs of New York season instead. It’s been too long since we really wrecked house on the other alliances, and I heard quite a few of them are entering. What do you guys think?
Now, since the Finns are particularly secretive with their discussions, not much else is known about what was discussed, however, that is not the last we will see of them.
In London, it is 4.30am, and Grant Brophy is asleep in his house. He hears a sudden banging, but such is how he reacts, he doesn’t like the thought of leaving his bed. When he hears a second bang however, he leaves his room and goes to the front door.
To his surprise, he finds the lock had been broken, and the door was closed. Feeling a bit apprehensive, he slowly moves towards to his phone, when he notices an envelope left on his kitchen table. The letter simply says on the outside “To Mr. Brophy”.
With a bad feeling in his stomach, he opens the envelope and reads the contents. After he is finished, he simply puts the letter down and moves back over to the phone. He calls a 24 hour locksmith who comes by and puts on a new lock.
He updated the news page of the ITFL tournament announcing a new team entering in the tournament. As he returned to bed, all he could simply think was “Damn Finns”.
Scott Davies had just finished his weekly game of Rugby. His team scoring a last minute try to win the match, and he was feeling elated in the pub that night. A few beers turned into a few pitchers, and then those few pitchers turned into a few vodkas, and before long, he was necking down shots at a rapid rate. The night was a blur for him, but he distinctly remembers doing push ups with the other Rugby lads, singing classic songs the loudest he could, and finally, throwing up everywhere en route to the toilet.
He woke up the next morning with the most splitting hangover imaginable. The remnants of a kebab lay on his kitchen table, and he staggered over to the sink for a glass of water.
After sleeping off the worst of the hangover again, he woke up to find his phone buzzing with messages. Reading through them, he read a lot of messages regarding his Organisation, Ascension.
However, he also had a bundle of messages from other managers he didn’t quite understand. These managers were apparently agreeing to join his team for a tournament, and told him which fighters would enter. He had to look through his Sent box to see he had messaged these managers asking if they would enter a team into the next season of the ITFL.
He then had a look again at the managers who agreed to enter, and felt growing confidence in his drunken decision. The likes of Klatz Matz, AJ Nex, Aylib 2.0, Harry Bagofdonuts and Whymer Von Mastodon all agreeing to join his team.
He then looked at his texts and saw he had already messages Grant Brophy to enter the team, which he had to squint to read:
“Alright mate? Wanna enter a team into the ITFL. Sending on the managers in the next message. Hope all is good with you?”
Thank god he had enabled autocorrect onto his phone, or did he? Maybe being drunk was the key to it.
Anyway, he needed a last member, but he received a phone call as he was about to eat lunch. He couldn’t make out the number, so he just answered without looking?
Shortfuse: Hey Scott, had a message from Dino last night saying you asked him to join your team for the ITFL?
Scott: I don’t remember at all to be honest mate, all I know is apparently I entered a team.
Shortfuse: Yeah, he mentioned something about it being the clearest he had ever seen you message him. He had about 20 messages from ya. Anyway, he mentioned to me you had a spot on your team, and I have a guy I can enter.
Scott: Ah sweet, which fighter?
Shortfuse: Chris Severn. Thinking we could do alright in the tournament.
Scott: Great, i’ll let Grant know the last fighter on the team. I’ll speak to ya soon
Shortfuse: Alright take care
As Scott was about to hang up, he could hear Shortfuse still on the phone
“Dino said the money would be in my account by 5 right? Didn’t know he was this desperate to not be on Davies’.....Ah fuck”
And with that, Shortfuse promptly hung up the phone.
Scott didn’t care anyway, his entry for the tournament was already planned in his mind, a fighter who had recently parted ways with his recent management team, and Scott couldn’t wait for it all to begin.
Funnily enough, this part of the story keeps us with Grant Brophy. Upon announcing the tournament was beginning, Brophy had an idea for a Vendetta team entering the tournament.
This idea was shared by the other members of the alliance, as Eric McCormick contacted him shortly after to register his interest in a team being formed.
The alliance was having a meeting on the same day as his announcement and it was a topic of discussion, as Grant laid out his plan for the team, and asked if there was an interest in the team.
Severo Del Bosque, G Wad and Ryan Epicity all agreed to enter fighters. Mike Jursllla and Igor Byhenikov arrived fashionably late, and greeted the other members.
Mike: Sorry about the lateness. We had a long session at the gym, and Igor wanted some advice on a gym and nutrition plan.
Igor: If I am going to be the number one manager, I might as well also have a good physique.
Grant: Alright guys. We were discussing a potential team to enter into the ITFL. We already have Flavius Odoacer, John Paul Wani, Lance Legstrong and Bosco Brown entering. My own fighter Pika Chu may also enter if his entry into the Mad Cash tournament ends early, but he isn’t a guaranteed fighter for us. Do either of you have any fighters to enter?
Mike: Dorian Yates has a fight coming up in Ryan’s org, I can enter him if you want?
Ryan: That’s like the 5th fighter from my org in this tournament. Damn it.
Grant: And what about you Igor?
Igor: Ruslan will crush all his opponents in this tournament. Count him in.
Grant: Alright great, that’s our whole team sorted for it so. Pika Chu fights in the tournament in a weeks time so if he loses I can enter him, but if he wins, then we will need to find another guy.
Fast forward now to the 20th July, 11pm GMT. Grant Brophy took his jet to New York, and is present in the Credit Card Centre enjoying the show held by Insanity. He had just witnessed another fight in the tournament, as Nolan Sackett defeated Pera Pulkkinen. He knew the winner of Pika Chu’s fight would face the winner, and he was waiting with eagerness.
Pika Chu and Sam Hall made their way out to the cage and the fight was soon underway. Despite being heavily nervous, Grant saw Pika Chu finish Sam Hall in 2.22 of the first round, and after the happiness of the victory, Grant messages the rest of his team about the result, and telling them they needed a final team member.
The next week, Grant is sat in his office, going over some preparations for Troid’s next event. Being heavily buried in his work, he barely noticed a knock on the door, and just called for the person to come in and greeted the men without lifting his head from his work.
Grant: Hey, how can I help you?
Dino: Not a very friendly way to be greeting someone who travelled all the way from New York to talk to ya.
Grant: Ah shit Dino, didn’t realise it was you. What brings you here? Thought I sorted Jintao out with his next fight?
Dino: Ya did, but it’s not why I’m here. Heard ye were looking for a man to enter the ITFL on yer team?
Grant: Yeah, my guy won a fight so he can’t make the tournament. Why? You looking to enter it?
Dino: Well, I want ta enter, but the issue is, i’ve been asked already by Bjorn and Scott, and neither of them are very appealing to me. I’ve seen the rest of the teams have their entrants already, and yer in need of a last man. Seems like it makes sense for my sanity.
Grant: Wow, not really what I expected to be happening today when I woke up. I’ll have a word with G Wad, he is the guy captaining the team, but I doubt he will have any objections to it.
Dino: Sure, just let me know which fighter ya need and i’ll sort him out to enter it.
With that, Dino leaves to attend to some business he has up in Scotland, most likely regarding the recent revelation of a fighter using his name.
Grant contacted G Wad immediately, explaining what had just happened and asking if he was against it. G Wad agreed it was the best solution possible, and the team was formed.
The next day, following all of the teams entering, Grant Brophy would make the huge announcement of all the teams that were entering, and began organising all of the arenas for the tournament. With a number of big managers entering, Grant couldn’t help but feel this was going to be a guaranteed success. The limo arrived at the press conference, and Grant put the thoughts of the ITFL aside for a few hours to get to work.