I think Bloody Elbow may be the first place you read this news today. I just got off the phone with Kurt Otto the IFL commissioner regarding the following news on the World Grand Prix:
Ben Rothwell, Mike Whitehead and Jay Hieron all were pulled from the IFL World Grand Prix due to contractual issues. Heiron, however, has settled his situation and it is my understanding that he will still compete in the event.
As for Rothwell and Whitehead it sounds as though there was a verbal agreement in place for the fighters to sign new contracts, however when the IFL asked for the deals to be signed and in place prior to the WGP Monte Cox changed his tune and an agreement could not be met. Again, Jay Hieron has signed his deal and will continue to fight in the event.
The reason for the IFL wanting the deals signed beforehand was so that a fighter didn't win a title in the organization and immediately leave with the belt to another promotion.
With Whitehead out the 205 lb division will have a title fight of:
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Alex Schoenauer
That will be the main event of the televised portion of the card with the two undercard fights of Chris Horodecki vs. Bart Palaszewski and Benji Radach vs. Brent Beauparlant
I'm sure we'll be hearing more about the IFL, WGP and the contract situations of Mike Whitehead and Ben Rothwell in coming days.
Update [2007-10-9 16:29:50 by Brent Brookhouse]:To be clear, Whitehead and Rothwell are still a part of the IFL. They have time left on their contracts, the current situation just caused the IFL to pull the fighters from the World Grand Prix. According to the IFL they are hopeful to get both fighters signed to new deals in the near future.
Update [2007-10-9 16:46:30 by Brent Brookhouse]:Bryan Vettel (3-2) will replace Ben Rothwell in the World Grand Prix. I can also confirm that Mark Miller is out of the event with a hand injury. Brad "Bad" Blackburn will be replacing Miller as Jay Hieron's opponent.