The first IGF show was held on June 29, 2007 at the Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The card was completely changed at the last minute, resulting in the 8,426 fans in attendance not knowing who or what they were going to see outside of the main event of Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar.
Shinichi Suzukawa was scheduled to face Bob Sapp in an IGF special rules Heavyweight bout on December 31, 2010, at K-1Dynamite!! 2010. The fight was to be held under MMA rules, but the fighters wouldn't be wearing gloves. Closed-fist strikes would have been allowed, but palm strikes wouldn't have been permitted. The event was to air on HDNet in North America. However, the fight was canceled due to a last-minute contract dispute but the Japanese audience in attendance were told by the promoter involved in the contract dispute that Sapp “had lost his will to fight.” 
In February 2011, IGF started a tournament to determine the first ever IGF Champion, which eventually led to a final match between Jérôme Le Banner and Josh Barnett. However, just days prior to the final match taking place, IGF announced on August 19 that Barnett would not be able to attend the event. On August 22, IGF declared Le Banner the first champion. Though primarily contested for in predetermined professional wrestling matches, the third and fourth champions were crowned in legitimate mixed martial arts fights.
The IWGP Heavyweight Championship was IGF's first sanctioned championship. Though it is officially not the same title recognized by New Japan Pro Wrestling, the Inoki Genome Federation referred to this title as the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (and was recognized as such also by TNA). IGF claims that the IWGP Heavyweight Championship was never held up despite Brock Lesnar being stripped of the title by NJPW on July 15, 2006. This is due to Antonio Inoki believing that Lesnar was being treated unfairly by NJPW. As Inoki was the one who had originally established the IWGP title, he still viewed Lesnar as the rightful champion. As such there were two separate belts and titles that were billed as the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. IGF's version used the third physical incarnation of the belt, while NJPW reverted to the second once it lost possession of the third belt. The IGF championship was defended for the first time by Lesnar in a losing effort against Kurt Angle in the main event of the debut IGF card on June 29, 2007.
Angle ultimately lost the title in his fourth defense, against NJPW-recognized IWGP Heavyweight Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, in a title unification match, on February 17, 2008; this unified both versions of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. As a result, the IGF went over three years without sanctioning any championships.