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IFL returns, honoring the traditions originally founded by Chairman Kiowa and his search to find the best of the best.

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"Victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay its price." - Sun Tzu
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Breaking down the Finals!
Ayperi Durrishahwar - February 8th, 2024 - 09:57pm

I returned from holiday to (again!) discover the Iron Fist Finals are slated for tonight!  It’s always sad when an IFL season comes to a close and this season’s no exception.

In tonight’s IFL Championship matchup between fan-favourite Real Rhydin – who’ve made the Finals for six consecutive seasons – and Team Fist, who were IFL champs back in 2015 and bridesmaids twice (2013 and 2017, where they fell to none other than Real Rhydin).

These two teams faced off twice earlier this season, with a 1-1 split (27-19 TMF win in Week 1 & 26-23 RRD win in Week 9). 

None of the pending Finals matchups are a repeat pairing from this season and amazingly, none of these brawlers have fought one another in the past.  Will that make a difference?  We’ll know soon enough!  Without further ado, let’s take a look at the bout-by-bout breakdowns!


Jaycy Ashleana (Kiowa Belt) vs. Koyliak VanDuran-Simon (HW)

2023 Season Record: Jaycy: 3-1; 2.75 PDPB / Koy: 3-3 -0.330 PDPB

Rank: Edge to Jaycy (Kiowa Belt) over Koy (HeavyWeight).

Experience Factor: Draw.  Tied for the most regular season bouts ever fought in IFL at 49 (21-28, -1.00 PDPB), Koy’s also fought in 6 playoff bouts (2-4 record).  Jaycy’s fought in the regular season 25 times (12-13, 0.24 PDPB) but only 3 in the playoffs (2-1 record).  However, there’s a reason Jaycy’s the back-to-back winner of the Kiowa Belt and both ladies have fought countless duels in the Outback over their long careers.  

Intimidation Factor: Draw.  Both of these fighters have a litany of dueling experience inside and outside of IFL and are so familiar with one another that neither has an edge here.  Jaycy had the better 2023 season with fewer bouts, her one loss coming in a Push bout.  Two of her three lower-bout wins were with 5-1 scores and she fought the same opponent twice (defeating Allen Bidarte 6-5 in the Week 5 Crutch and then 5-1 in the Week 8 Crutch).  Koy, meantime, only fought 1 bout outside of the Push and Iron Fist in 2023 and won her lone lower-end bout (5-4 over Yuzuki in the Week 3 Crutch).

Historical Factors:  Jaycy and Koy have similar lifetime IFL records with Koy sporting a 6-9 Anchor record (having not fought in the slot since 2020) & Jaycy having a 4-7 record in the Anchor – winning her last 3, including a 5-1 victory over Hailey Winters this season.  Koy’s not fared well against RRD in her career (1-6) with her lone win coming back in 2020.  A former member of TMF like current RRD teammate Gren Blockman, Jaycy’s only fought TMF three times, going 1-2 in her career.    

Overall: Neither really has the edge in this bout.  It’s going to be a hard-fought dig-deep fight, the end result of which is a coin-flip. 

Final Score Prediction: 5-4 Koy


Gren Blockman (MI) vs. Matthew Algiers Simon (HV)

2023 Season Record: Gren: 2-2; 1.25 PDPB / Matt: 5-1; 4.00 PDPB

Rank: Edge to Matt (HeavyWeight) over Gren(MiddleWeight).

Experience Factor: Draw.  Much as with Koy and Jaycy, these two have myriad IFL experience.  Gren comes in with a lifetime regular season record of 15-15 (-0.13 PDPB) and is 3-4 in the playoffs. Matt is 23-22 (0.51 PDPB) and 7-5 in the playoffs.  

Intimidation Factor: Draw.  Again, like Jaycy and Koy, both Gren and Matt have similar IFL records and massive achievements outside of the sport.  Both likely respect each other’s accomplishments and won’t take the other lightly.

Historical Factors: Ironically, the worst portion of Gren’s IFL career came during his stint as a member of Team Fist, where he lost 6 straight bouts.  Since then, he hasn’t lost more than 3 bouts in a row (back in 2022) and he rarely duels outside of the Iron Fist or Push bouts.  In fact, Gren’s only fought in the Crutch a total of six times (2-4 record) and hasn’t done so since Week 2 of 2022.  The last time Matt won more than 3 regular season bouts in a season was…never; it’s easy to say he overachieved in 2023 and while he was a point away from being 6-0, he was also a point away from losing to Anubis Karos in the 2023 semi-finals.  This will be Matt’s 22nd bout in the Crutch (6-15 record) and only his 2nd time in the playoffs – the first being last week.  Suffice to say, the Crutch isn’t exactly where Matt shines (compare, say, to his 9-3 Iron Fist record) and his decision to place himself in this lower slot may cost his team the match.  Against RRD, Matt’s 4-6 lifetime ( 0-4 against them in the Crutch) whereas Gren’s 4-5 lifetime against TMF, 1-2 in the Crutch (the win coming in 2020 Week 2, against Neekylah Lang).

Overall: Draw.  Matt’s lack of success in the Crutch might be mitigated by his overall success in the 2023 season.  Gren’s 13-10 lifetime with RRD and didn’t have his best season, but still managed a 5-0 Iron Fist shutout in Week 8.  Either this one’s going to be close or one of these two is going to have a bad night and only score a point or two.  

Final Score Prediction: 5-2 Gren.  I’m predicting the bad night for Captain Simon, but really, who knows?


Dakota Street  (HW) vs. Myth ‘Blue’ Ascend  (MI)

2023 Season Record: Dakota: 4-2; 1.170 PDPB / Blue: 3-2; 0.80 PDPB

Rank: Edge to Dakota (HeavyWeight) over Blue (MiddleWeight)

Experience Factor: Dakota.  Dakota has an 8-6 lifetime regular season record (0.57 PDPB) and is 3-1 in the playoffs.  Blue’s 4-4 (-1.25 PDPB) and 0-1 in the playoffs.

Intimidation Factor: Draw.  Dakota not only won 4 bouts this season, she handed the previously 5-0 Matt Simon his only loss on the year.  Dakota also went 1-1 in the Push this season, one of those wins being a narrow 6-5 win over Maggie Harker in Week 5.  Myth spent most of the season in the high-end bouts (2 Iron Fist, 2 Push, 1 Crutch) and again held down the Push spot in the 2023 Semi-Finals.  Neither dueler has clear dominance over the other.   

Historical Factors: Myth lost his only playoff bout last week in a close 5-6 Push bout against Renley Killian.  Of his 9 career bouts, only 2 have come lower than the Push and he’s never fought in the Anchor. Myth is 2-1 lifetime in the Push with the lone loss being the aforementioned fight.  He’s also 2-1 lifetime against RRD, having defeated Jaycy Ashleana in 2023 Week 1 and splitting bouts against Gren Blockman (2022 Week 1, a 4-5 Iron Fist loss; 2023 Week 5, a 5-4 Push win).  Dakota, meantime, has more playoff experience but has never fought above the Crutch in postseason.  Lifetime, Dakota is 1-2 in the Push with one win and one loss as single-point affairs (4-5 loss to Maggie in 2022 Week 5 and 6-5 win over Maggie in 2023 Week 5).  Against TMF, Dakota’s 2-2 lifetime.

Overall: Draw.  Dakota’s superior rank likely won’t factor into this bout and this is a pretty even pairing.

Final Score Prediction: 5-4 Blue

 Iron Fist

Hope Naharis (PO) vs. Em Locke (MI)

2023 Season Record: Hope: 4-0; 7.25 PDPB / Em: 3-2; 1.00 PDPB

Rank: Edge to Hope (PowerHouse) over Yuzuki (MiddleWeight).

Experience Factor: Hope.  Real Rhydin’s captain has fought in 35 regular season bouts with a stellar 3.54 PDPB and a 27-8 record.  Comparatively, her playoff record is less successful (13 bouts, 7-6 record) but nobody can say that she shies away from the spotlight as she rarely fights below the Push bout and most often fights the Iron Fist bout, regardless of regular season or playoffs.  Em has 8 IFL bouts to her name and only a single playoff bout (a big 5-3 win over Bile in the 2023 Iron Fist semi-finals).  With a lifetime losing record in the regular season (3-4, -1.43 PDPB), the hope here is that Em can parlay one huge playoff victory into two. 

Intimidation Factor: Hope.  With an undefeated season and a lifetime IFL record that few can match, Hope’s got the definite edge here.  Outside of the PowerHouse Party, she hasn’t lost a bout since 2022’s Week 5 (a 1-5 Iron Fist loss to Kruger) and including that bout, nobody’s scored more than 3 points against her since 2021 (6-5 Hope victory over Crunchem in Week 3).  Aside from an Anchor shutout loss in Week 4 of 2022 to Jaycy, Em hasn’t scored fewer than 3 points in a bout, and Team Fist’s going to need every point she can muster in order to have a shot to take home their second trophy.

Historical Factors: These two ladies have never fought each other in an IFL league match.  Em’s 2-1 lifetime against RRD (her loss being the aforementioned shutout by Jaycy).  She defeated Dakota 5-3 in the Crutch this season and eeked out a narrow 5-4 Anchor victory over Jewell Ravenlock in Week 9, where the bout was tied every round until the end.  This is Em’s 3rd career Iron Fist bout, where she has a 1-1 record.  Em is 2-1 lifetime against RRD, having never fought them above the Crutch.  

This will be Hope’s 24th Iron Fist bout, and she’s won 17 of them.  Hope’s 9-3 against Team Fist lifetime, with every bout being in the Iron Fist (her last Iron Fist bout loss to TMF came via Matt Simon in Week 2 of the 2020 season) or the Push.  Hope hasn’t dropped a bout of any kind to TMF since that 2020 loss.  For the playoffs, she’s never lost a bout to TMF, defeating Blondie 5-1 in 2017, Matt Simon 5-1 in 2019 and Matt Simon again, 5-3 in 2021.  Hope is 9-3 lifetime against TMF and hasn’t lost to the team since that Week 2 2020 bout.

Overall: Hope Naharis.  Hope has the experience, the wins and the moxie to not only earn solid bout victories, but to lead her team to the IFL finals year in and year out.  Em’s got the makings of a solid dueler and a victory here would go a long way to truly launching her career.  However, she’s got a very difficult hurdle to clear this week.

Final Score Prediction: 5-3 Hope

Captain’s Lineup Decisions

Hope’s lineup is solid, featuring no brawler with a losing record.  When Gren comes in 4th with the lowest mark of 2-2, it’s clear that Real Rhydin’s got fantastic depth.  An argument could be made to bring in Eden (14-9, 1.22 PDPB regular season) in lieu of Jaycy (12-13, 0.24 PDPB regular season) but both are barely over .500 in the playoffs (5-4 Eden; 2-1 Jaycy) and Jaycy had better results in 2023. Essentially, there are no nits to pick with the lineup or the bout placement.

Matt Simon rolled out almost the exact same lineup, in the exact same bouts, as he did in the semi-finals vs. KGM, just swapping in Koy for Dean in the Anchor.  Leaving Runt and his 1-3, -2.50 PDPB on the bench for the entirety of the playoffs was probably a good choice and with less depth to work with than his opposing captain, there’s not much more he could have done from a lineup perspective.  For the bout placement, Matt should have taken his 5-1 record into the Iron Fist, but perhaps he was trying to avoid Hope, given his prior record against her.  Keeping his less-experienced brawlers in the higher bouts is a strategy that paid off against KGM in the semi-finals, but 3 of the 4 semi-final bouts had a one-point differential and Matt can’t rely on that amount of luck two weeks in a row.

All in all, both captains fielded solid lineups and while some arguments could be made for bout-placement changes, neither made glaring errors.


Real Rhydin’s hasn’t won the IFL title since 2020 and the chances of them losing 3 Finals matches in a row are pretty darn low (though I argued the same last year regarding their possibly losing 2 in a row).  Real Rhydin’s depth likely wins the day, but if Team Fist rides the same clutch-luck that helped them prevail against KGM last week, they just might hoist their second-ever IFL Championship Trophy!Predicted Match Score:Real Rhydin26-21

Too Blue: IFL 2023 Edition (Week 5)
Jewell Ravenlock - November 27th, 2023 - 09:01pm

Sapphire: Good morning all! Apparently ratings have crashed real hard around here, so the CEO of the station came on bended knee and begged for me to come back. Wahlah, here I am to make predictions for Week 5 of IFL 2023! And to help me out, because Jewell is apparently too busy, I’ve got the one and only Tippletoe here with me! Say hi and press any button you want.

*POOF effect*

Tippletoe: Fair day to you all! The bestest gnome from tip-to-toe is here! *Sparkle sound effect*

Sapphire: Excellent sound effect choices! Okay, let’s jump right in. First on the schedule for this week is Deathcake versus Kings Gambit. 

Tippletoe: Deathcake has the best tee-shirts, but they’ve never offered me their dessert. Yet. King’s Gambit fans are abso-fruitly nutty! They are so passionate about their team. 

Sapphire: I think you mean cultish? But sure sure passionate works too. King’s Gambit also had a few solid seasons before Deathcake stole the show last year. So this will be rematch of previous victors! In the Iron Fist match, we’ve got Yuzuki against Xanth.

Tippletoe: Queen Kuwabara is SO amazing!! She wins a lot. Xanth, the Laughing Lich, has a scary exterior – he makes my ears tingle whenever I go near him. But I think inside he’s a bit of a softie. Maybe. If Queen Kuwabara can find the soft spot she could punch it and win!

Sapphire: You heard it here first folks. Xanth has gone soft and is going to lose to Yuzuki! Next up we have the Push Match with Droet against Bile. How is Bile only a flyweight? Hasn’t that weirdo been around forever? I’ve met Droet a bunch of times. He’s a good surfer!

*Splash sound effect*

Tippletoe: A super good surfer! I think Bile & Brimstone wants people to underestimate him. BB is pretty tough, and Crimson Wavecrasher miiiight be in over his head here.

*Sound of a wave crashing*

Sapphire: Sorry Droet! Seems like you’re going to sink under a wave of Bile.

*Gurgling sound effect*

Tippletoe: The Crutch Match should be interesting with Radikal Rekah against LiLi.

Sapphire: I don’t think I know too much about Li? But she’s been kicking around IFL for a few years now. Rekah on the other hand.. she’s got blue hair. Instant winner right there!

Tippletoe: Even if Sapphire is blue-loyal, I’m cheering for you LiLi! 

*Cheering fan sounds*

Sapphire: The Anchor Match is where it’s at this week with Powerhouse Dizzy against Trainee Hailey. What do we know about Hailey? Dizzy has been on a tear lately, most recently pummeling Gren from Real RhyDin.

Tippletoe: How are you not rooting for Hailey? She also has blue hair, and apparently blue magic! But Darling Diz of Death is going to fight circles around her. 

Sapphire: Does everyone in this league have blue hair these days? Fine fine. Hailey, I’m cheering for you. Overall though, it seems we’re giving this one by a narrow margin to Deathcake though I won’t be surprised by a King’s Gambit win. Stay tuned for our review of the other set of matches in Week 5 after this commercial break.

[Insert commercial break: RHY’KEA – with pictures so simple a child could do it.]

Tippletoe: And we’re back to discuss the second set of matches for Week 5: Rock Hards versus Real RhyDin. The Rock Hards have the best performers but not-so-much the best performance this season. Real RhyDin is still trying to beat out Deathcake but they have a long history of getting into the league finals. The Rock Hards need to give the performance of a lifetime this week! 

Sapphire: Up first we have Kruger versus Hope in the Iron Fist. The holder of ShadoWeaver has really upped his game over the last few years. Normally, I’d give this fight to him but Hope is coming off a hot comeback and win against Sal in Week 4. She’s gotta be pumped. It’s going to be close, but Hope is walking away with this one 

Tippletoe: In the Push Match we have the Tinthurwin, aka, the former Queen of Stars Maggie – up against Detective Dakota Darlingheart. 

Sapphire: This is a tough one. If Dakota channels her ab powers, she could win. Maggie has been doing well in the other sports but I’m not so sure that fists is her strength. Another close one but a win for Real RhyDin in my book.

Tippletoe: It will be absolutely crushing. 

*Groan sound effect*

Sapphire: For Crutch, we’ll see baby Allen pitted against belt holder Jaycy. Allen has been practicing a lot and he comes from quite the dueling legacy. On the other hand.. Jaycy is Jaycy. Will you still love me Jaycy if I call an upset and give this to Allen?

*The sound of a dragon roaring angrily was played*

Tippletoe: Beating the Red DragonJay is tough, but I will be cheering for the Teenage HeartThrob! Finally in the Anchor we have Darkgaze Steelblade versus my liege, the Wayward Empress.

Sapphire: No surprise that I am biased on this one. Blue hair has to support blue hair! I’m giving this to Jewell with the caveat that Rachael has kicked her butt several times lately. 

Tippletoe: I am obligated by fae-covenant to put my faith in the Wayward Empress!

Sapphire: Seems like a Real RhyDin win for the week then! Stay tuned because after this commercial break, Tips and I are going to…

Tippletoe: Try a jam-out session together! I brought the instruments! 

Sapphire: And I’ve warmed up my voice! So get ready RhyDin.

The Playoff Picture
Kalamere - January 13th, 2024 - 07:18am

With one and a half(ish) weeks to go, one might think the playoff picture would be looking pretty clear. It isn’t. Three teams still have a shot at wrapping up 1st place in the regular season and getting a well deserved week off while slots 2 and 3 duke it out to face them in the championship. Four of the Five teams still have a shot at the post season, so for those following along at home, here’s a quick look at how the chips need to fall.

Current Standings: Were the season to end today, King’s Gambit would claim the bye, with Team Fist (2nd) and Real RhyDin (3rd) facing off in the semi-final. By the time Week 9 ends though, this is going to change.

King’s Gambit: They do have a playoff spot locked in. With 5 match wins in hand and DCK on bye in Week 10, only 2 teams have the potential to match them. Taking the top spot may be a bit more challenging though. TMF and RRD are facing each other this week and one of them will emerge with 5 match wins. Not just that, but TMF or RRD will also hold the bout win tie breaker. In the interest of controlling their own destiny, KGM would likely prefer RRD pull off a come from behind victory this week, which would set up a Week 10 battle for first place. Minimally they need RRD to claim at least one, but hopefully two, of the remaining bout wins. Should TMF notch a sweep they’ll hold a 3 bout lead and face the winless Rock Hards in Week 10, making them a strongly favored champion bet.

Team Fist: Wile currently holding second, TMF has the best odds of ending the season in the top slot. Their 8 point lead (2-0 in matches) isn’t enough to lock up a win this week vs RRD, but it definitely helps! The easy path for them is to finish off Hope’s crew this week and drop the Rockers next week. If Kruger’s gang comes in next week as the giant slayers though, and hands TMF a loss, they would still have a decent shot as long as RRD takes down KGM. TMF should hold a 2-3 bout win edge going into the week, making them extremely hard to catch with only 4 bouts on the docket. That said, finishing off RRD this week is paramount. Should RRD surge in this Week 9 match and take the W, TMF’s odds at the top spot shrink to zero. RRD and KGM go head to head in Week 10 and one of them would emerge with 6 match wins, which TMF wouldn’t be able to match.

Real RhyDin: Hope and Co. are in a rough spot in this Week 9 match, having gone down 0-2 in the first two bouts. As things stand they’ll need to pull out wins in the 2 remaining bouts to get a victory. If they do that though, then a first place finish is entirely in their hands – needing a win vs KGM in Week 10. They’ll still have a shot at it even in a loss, as long as they win next week, though they’d then be dependent on the Rockers pulling off an upset in Week 10 to claim their first win on the year (possibly 2nd since Week 9 is still in play). Beyond that, both matches would need to be decisive since TMF would have a significant lead in the bout win tie breaker. The danger for Real is that they could actually still fall out of the playoffs entirely! If they lose this match and DCK beats RCK this week, the two will be tied in record while DCK would likely hold a 1-2 bout win edge. Fortunately for them, DCK is off next week, so they’ll have a shot to pass them by in bouts. They need to win 3 of their 6 remaining fights to guarantee a post season appearance.

Deathcake: The DCKs sit in fourth today and are trailing after 1 bout with ROC. They need to turn this around and they need to do it with as many bout wins as possible. Even with that though, they are at the mercy of other teams if they’re going to make it into the playoffs. Their chances (assuming a win over ROC) all come down to RRD folding. Badly. If they take all 3 remaining bouts against the Rockers they’ll be sitting at 4 match wins and 16 bout wins. They would still need RRD to lose in both Week 9 and Week 10 (good chances) AND lose 5 of their 6 remaining fights (much less likely).

The Rock Hards: Sadly, the Rockers have been eliminated. They could still have some great fun with this, however, since they’re in position to play the spoiler both to DCKs playoff hopes and to TMFs dreams of a first place finish.

By The Numbers – Week 4
Intern Liovanni - November 21st, 2023 - 08:02pm

Your favorite number cruncher is back!

As my colleague Reid alluded to last week, The Line has encouraged us to split the load this season so we don’t all run out of gas with ten weeks of predictions. As a favor to Reid, I’ll outline the odds if you followed his bettors column for week three – exactly 50/50 with four correct and four incorrect predictions. As a bit of friendly competition, let’s see if I can do any bettor

King’s Gambit vs. Team Fist

Historical Record: 3 – 1

Over the past four seasons King’s Gambit has won three times when facing Team Fist. However, this season things look a little different. 

Let’s turn to the current Leaderboard’s top four spots; they are all Team Fist. In first place is Em Locke with a 2-1 record (2.33 PDPB), followed by Myth ‘Blue’ Ascend at 2-0 (6.0 PDPB), then Matthew Algiers Simon at 2-0 (5.5 PDPB) and Koyliak VanDuran-Simon (5.0 PDPB). Fifth place is Anubis Karos for King’s Gambit thanks to a wild shut out in week three. Things are looking pretty good for Team Fist by those early numbers. 

Anchor: Mary XIII vs. Dean Reighland

First up is ‘Mary’ the thirteenth against Cowboy Reighland. But who, exactly, is Mary? Her card says she’s “mostly human” but that describes about 93.7% of Rhy’din. ‘Mary’ has been an informal part of King’s Gambit since its formation in 2019. Always beside Renley Killian, and seemingly not always the same ‘Mary’. Have there been twelve other Mary’s before her? What happened to them? For the good of the public, I hereby request that the private investigator Dakota Street search out the history of ‘Mary’! She should have plenty of leads considering they chatted for their entire fight in week two. 

So Cowboy Reighland is up against the thirteenth girl/woman called ‘Mary’. Dean is pretty dazzling both inside and outside the ring, and ‘Mary’ is still getting her feet underneath her. 5-3, Dean.  

Crutch: Renley Killian vs. Matthew Algiers Simon

A level up is ‘Mary’s’ trainer and, presumably, guardian Renley Killian. I decided to swear off age-based jokes this season, so instead I will use his opponent’s full name: Matthew Algier Simon. Now, I’ve done some digging, and there appears to be a lack of consensus on how to say Matthew’s last name. Is it s-EYE-munn? s-EYE-mohn? Or as the giant calls it, SEE-mon? Or is it s-IH-mon? Another mystery to be unfolded. 

Killian and Simon (however it’s pronounced) bouted back in 2019 in a 5-2 (Renley) Anchor match. Simon has been pretty on-fire these past few weeks and Killian still has a little smoke from the hot 5-2 win in the Iron Fist against Drasinia. Tight call, but I will give the momentum to Simon, 5-4.  

Push: Anubis Karos vs. Runt

Another re-match, this one is Karos vs The Giant (let’s just call a spade a spade, Runt is not a small guy). In 2021 Runt smashed the Egyptian 5-2. But it’s a new season! A new week! A new Karos! Last week Karos whallopped Miss Harker 5-0 and that gives an old-timey god some new-time confidence. On the other scale, The Giant was reeeeally close to victory in a sudden death with Delahada, but ultimately lost. There is something to be said for believing you can win, and so this one goes to Karos, 5-3.

Iron Fist: Bile vs. Myth ‘Blue’ Ascend

And here is the grand match-up! Ascend, aptly named, has growing momentum. Three wins out of five bouts in the League, and one of those losses was a close 4-5 to Blockman. This season he has locked in two wins for Team Fist, including an IF match against Ilnaren. He will now be tested by Bile, who is in the top-three of our active All-Time Fighters (preceded by Kuwabara and Naharis). I think this will be one of the tightest matches during our extended week four and I will be eagerly watching the live stream. My betting money is on Bile, 5-4. 

Overall Match Score: While Team Fist has been on a hot streak, I think King’s Gambit arranged perfect match-ups. They can handle the losses in the Anchor and Crutch and pull some big wins in the Push and Iron Fist. KGM wins, 26-22, with the turning point being the Iron Fist. 

Real RhyDin vs. Deathcake

Historical Record: 3 – 4

Do these teams ever have a history! Since 2017 they have battled it in the League. In 2020 Real RhyDin took out Deathcake in week one by a reasonable margin, only to face them again in the finals where it came down to a three point difference in favor of RRD. Last year Deathcake took all three undercard bouts in week 2 against Real RhyDin and then took all three undercard bouts again in the finals for a 24-19 victory. 

This is going to be a helluva week for both teams! I’m no sage, but winning this first match of the season may be a predictor of sorts. Not to add any pressure – okay, okay, I’m adding pressure. 

Anchor: Kheldar Drasinia vs. Gatito

In the first undercard bout is Drasinia vs Lindo. In 2020 Drasinia defeated Lindo in the Iron Fist bout, but lost to him in the Powerhouse tournament. Since then Lindo has held the title DiArchLord and has been very active in the rings. While Drasinia has a much better PDPB in the league right now, it relies a lot on his early performance. Lindo has a recent streak of fire, and I think it will come out this week. Lindo, 5-3. 

Crutch: Eden Parker vs. Eddie Blake

Next up is Parker with a very respectable 2.00 lifetime PDPB. She performs consistently well for her team, especially at the Crutch level. Blake is brand new. His card says his 6’6”, which ties him for second-place in height with Drasinia (we all know who the tallest is). He weighs in at 234 pounds compared to Parker’s 140. That’s a pretty significant weight advantage. However, I hear Parker has fought The Giant so I think she has the skill to hold her own against the tall and heavy. Parker, 5-4. 

Push: Hope vs. Salvador Delahada

Naharis and Delahada have fought each other no less than four times as part of the Iron Fists League, and several times in regulation. For League fights Naharis holds a 3-1 record against Delahada, and outside of the league since 2020 Naharis holds another 3-1 record against her opponent. Delahada won his first Diamond Quest back in October, Naharis has held five in total. While the numbers might say Naharis, 5-3, there is no such thing as an easy bet. Delahada will want to lead his team to victory, and if there is ever to be an upset of the week it’s this bout right here. 

Iron Fist: Gren Blockman vs. Dizzy Flores

When the League runs for long enough you start to get a lot of re-matches. Blockman and Flores fought each other back in 2017 with a 5-4 victory for Blockman. Anything older than two years is ‘historical’ data, but it’s a number to figure in. In terms of recent trends Blockman has already cinched one Iron Fist bout for the RRD crew, and Flores has a Crutch victory to her name. For someone who has been active in the league since 2013 Blockman’s got an average record of -0.07 PDPB. It’s not bad, but it’s not good either. Flores has been out there since the beta and has a similarly average record of 0.18 PDPB. Not good, but not bad either. This is a bit of a toss up, and perhaps the most important fight of the week given the history of RRD vs DCK. When in doubt, follow the law of averages. Flores, 6-5. 

Overall Match Score: In the multi-year battle of Deathcake versus Real Rhydin, the first match-up of this season might be RRD 25-24. A one point margin, predicted by the fact that while Flores will win the Iron Fist, Blockman will get full points. However, should Blockman lose 5-4 or any of the other scores shift in the direction of DCK then the outcome goes to Deathcake. A one point margin is tight odds, especially when it hinges on the Iron Fist. Despite my individual score predictions, the reserved gambler in me predicts DCK 24-24, winning the tie by the IF. 

Enjoy the festivities and your winnings (if you get any). – Liovanni.   

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