James Irvin

Irvin Ready to Give Silva His Best at 205

Hard-hitting veteran James Irvin discusses his upcoming bout against reigning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who will be moving up to light heavyweight for the first time in his career this Saturday night in the above video courtesy of ESPN. Irvin also touches on his mental preparation leading up to the day of the fight as well as the positive and negative effects that Silva’s change in fighting weight may have on him.

Countdown to UFC: Silva vs Irvin Airs Tonight

“Countdown to UFC: Silva vs Irvin”, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s usual event preview show, will premiere tonight at 11 PM ET on Spike TV.

The show will focus on reigning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who will be moving up to the light heavyweight division to take on fellow knockout artist, James Irvin in Saturday night’s anticipated main event. Interviews and video of both fighters training in their respective hometowns are expected to be shown.

Those who miss tonight’s show at 11 PM ET can catch a replay at the following times: Saturday, July 18th (1 AM ET, 11 AM ET, 7 PM ET) and Saturday, July 19th (7 PM ET).

Measuring Irvin’s Chances Against Silva


James Irvin. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

James Irvin doesn’t have much of a chance against Anderson Silva. Guess what? He knows it too…

From Yahoo! Sports:

“Since I’ve taken the fight, a lot of people have come up to me and asked, ‘What’s your game plan? What’s your game plan?’ ” Irvin said. “I go, ‘What kind of a game plan can I have against the guy? He’s better than me on the ground. He’s better than me standing up. What am I going to do?’ I don’t have to go in there and beat him at jiu-jitsu or beat him at Muay Thai. I can go in and fight the guy. I’ll go in and mix it all together and see if my style works with his or not.”

Irvin is 100% correct. Silva is better than him in all aspects and at this stage, finding a hole in his game is damn near impossible, so taking time to come up with any sort of strategy would essentially be a waste. However, in my opinion, not having a strategy at all is exactly what gives Irvin a chance in this fight.

Let’s think about it. Both Travis Lutter and Nate Marquardt wanted to come in, take Silva to the ground, and overwhelm him. That didn’t work. Rich Franklin wanted to use his awkward striking style to beat Silva. Obviously, that didn’t work. Dan Henderson was supposed to have the best chance as a former Olympic wrestler who would be able to bully Silva in the clinch. Too bad Silva is pretty strong himself.

With the exception of Chris Leben, all of the above came in with a gameplan and all failed miserably. Of course we know that it took Silva less than a minute to dismantle Leben, who wanted to come in and bang, but Irvin is a better technical striker than Leben. Come to think of it, many others in the middleweight division probably are as well.

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Silva-Irvin to Headline July “Fight Night”

It seems that the Ultimate Fighting Championship will be going ahead with their rumored July 19th event in Las Vegas after all, a move that will put the world’s top organization in the spotlight on the same night that Affliction Clothing’s puts on their event in California.

The news comes from Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports, who has confirmed with Dana White that the event will take place at The Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and would be televised live on Spike TV.

Even more interesting is the show’s main event, which will feature reigning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva moving up to light heavyweight for the first time in his career to battle fellow heavy-hitter James Irvin in a sure-fire slugfest on the feet.

According to Meltzer, the fight against Irvin will serve as a “test-run” for Silva to see how he would fare in a higher weight class. The current plan involves Silva defending his middleweight belt later this year, most likely against top contender Yushin Okami, but could eventually lead to a showdown against Chuck Liddell in the near future.

A lightweight bout between Hermes Franca and Frankie Edgar has also been moved from the promotion’s August “Seek and Destroy” event to this one, which will now be deemed “UFC Fight Night 14” according to our friends at MMA Junkie, who are also reporting that Jake O’Brien, who has re-signed with the company, will take on Cain Velasquez and a welterweight bout between Anthony Johnson and Kevin Burns, which we broke news of yesterday, has also been moved to this card as well.

Brandon Vera, who was tentatively slated to take on former PRIDE champ Wanderlei Silva until Silva turned down the fight, will now take on IFL veteran Reese Andy in his debut at light heavyweight according to Sherdog.com. All five of the aforementioned bouts will likely make up the televised portion of the card.

Evans Pulled from Finalized “Bedlam” Card


Rashad Evans. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Just hours after Brazilian striker Luis Cane stepped in for an injured James Irvin against former collegiate standout wrestler Rashad Evans, the UFC has decided to remove Evans from the card when the organization travels overseas to London, England on June 7th for UFC 85: Bedlam.

The promotion made the announcement this morning via their official website.

Evans was originally slated to take on Thiago Silva at this weekend’s UFC 84: Ill Will event in Las Vegas but was moved to the June card after Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was forced to pull out of his main event showdown against former champion Chuck Liddell.

After a torn hamstring forced Liddell off the show, Irvin was brought in as a late replacement opponent for Evans, eventually succumbing to the injury bug as well in the form of a broken foot suffered during a recent training session. No word as of yet on the extent of his injury nor how long he will be sidelined.

Cane will now once again take on Jason Lambert in a preliminary bout, capping off the card at a total of eleven fights. A middleweight bout between former title challenger Nate Marquardt and Thales Leites has been moved up to the televised portion of the event.

UFC 85 will be headlined by a main event welterweight clash between former longtime champion Matt Hughes and rising American Top Team product Thiago Alves. England native Michael Bisping will also be in action, taking on Canadian middleweight Jason Day.

Cane Replaces Injured Irvin Against Evans


Luis Cane. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Brazilian striker Luis Cane will step in for an injured James Irvin against former collegiate standout wrestler Rashad Evans, who remains undefeated thus far in mixed martial arts, when the Ultimate Fighting Championship travels overseas to London, England on June 7th for UFC 85: Bedlam.

The promotion announced the change on their official website this evening.

Irvin reportedly suffered a broken foot during a recent training session. No word as of yet on the extent of his injury nor how long he will be sidelined. This will now be Evans fourth scheduled opponent for his next fight.

Evans was originally slated to take on Thiago Silva at this weekend’s UFC 84: Ill Will event in Las Vegas but was moved to the June card after Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was forced to pull out of his main event showdown against former champion Chuck Liddell. After a torn hamstring forced Liddell off the show, Irvin was brought in as a late replacement opponent for Evans, eventually succumbing to the injury bug as well.

Cane lost by disqualification in his UFC debut last December, illegally kneeing Irvin in the face while Irvin was still on the ground. Cane was slated to take on Jason Lambert in a preliminary bout on the card. It’s unknown at this time whether a replacement opponent will be found for Lambert in time for the event.

UFC 85 will be headlined by a main event welterweight clash between former longtime champion Matt Hughes and rising American Top Team product Thiago Alves. England native Michael Bisping will also be in action, taking on Canadian middleweight Jason Day.

Report: Irvin Agrees to Step In Against Evans


James Irvin weighs-in for UFC Fight Night 13. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

James Irvin, fresh off of his quick knockout of Houston Alexander earlier this month, will reportedly replace former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell against an undefeated Rashad Evans when the UFC travels to London, England on June 7th.

The news comes from MMA Weekly, which has confirmed Irvin’s participation with sources close to both fighter’s camps.

Irvin’s stoppage of Alexander at UFC Fight Night 13 on April 2nd tied the record for the fastest finish in UFC history. Don Frye put Thomas Ramirez to sleep in eight seconds as well in his UFC debut back in February 1996.

Evans was originally scheduled to be fighting Thiago Silva in May before being tapped to replace an injured Mauricio Rua against Liddell. The one-time standout college wrestler has not lost yet inside the confines of his UFC. Evans has been victorious in all of his bouts with the exception of a draw against Tito Ortiz last summer.

Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports reports that the UFC now plans to have a total of 13 bouts on the card in order to make up for Liddell’s absence. UFC President Dana White has confirmed that the card for the event is still in the works.

“We’re adding fights to the card and rearranging it so the UK fans won’t have to worry,” White said in a recent press release sent out to the media. “We’ll still be bringing an amazing card to London and the O2 Arena. The UFC always delivers.”

Florian Stops Lauzon in Denver


Kenny Florian throws a knee at Joe Lauzon. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The ‘Battle of Boston’ went in Kenny Florian’s favor last night as he relentlessly pressured fellow Massachusetts native Joe Lauzon before ultimately stopping his foe with an onslaught of unanswered strikes during the latest edition of UFC Fight Night at the at the Broomfield Events Center in Denver, Colorado.

What originally was booked as a friendly matchup between two lightweight contenders slowly evolved into a heated exchange of pre-fight trash talking. The tension between the two was evident from the start of the fight as an intense staredown changed into a quick exchange of punches.

Lauzon quickly down Florian down in the first minute. An unorthodox attempt by Florian to use elbows from the bottom was foiled by referee Herb Dean after one of the blows cut the back of Lauzon’s head open. Florian then used solid submission defense to escape knee bar and heel hook attempts before eventually closing out the round delivering strikes from the top position.

Florian turned up the heat at the start of the second round. A swift body kick led to Florian scoring a takedown and transitioning to half-guard. The veteran of the inaugural season of “The Ultimate Fighter” then rained down unanswered punches and elbows on Lauzon for nearly two full minutes. Despite a good job of covering up and limiting damage, Dean decided that Lauzon had enough, moving Florian even closer to another shot at the lightweight title that was once in his reach.

“Joe’s a great competitor and I knew it was gonna be a tough fight,” Florian said after the bout. “That’s what I wanted.”

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Irvin Hopes to Change Luck Against Alexander


James Irvin weighs-in for UFC 79: Nemesis. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

To say that James Irvin has had a run of bad luck recently is putting it lightly.

After an impressive stoppage of Hector Ramirez allowed Irvin to continue his career with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Irvin was unable to ride a wave of momentum through his next fight, courtesy of a brutal knee injury suffered against Thiago Silva last May.

Months of rehab followed and Irvin recovered well-enough to score a showdown with Luis Cane in December to close out the year. The first minute and a half of the fight went exactly as expected with both fighters exchanging bombs on the feet. However Cane ended the fight when he knocked Irvin out cold with an illegal knee, handing Irvin the victory but once again leaving him unable to put the outcome of a fight in his own hands.

With last year now in the past, Irvin enters his clash with Houston Alexander on Wednesday in dire need of a win if he wants to stay with the UFC. However more important to Irvin at this point, is starting off the new year with a clean slate.

“Last year was a terrible year for me,” Irvin said during a recent interview session. “The win over Hector Ramirez was huge because it kept me in the UFC. Then I hurt my knee and that stung really bad. Being a striker, my knees are so important to have, and I thought that my career might have been cut short. Luckily I was able to recover and the UFC stuck by me and gave me another chance. Now I’m ready to turn the page and start this year fresh.”

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Alexander-Irvin Moved to UFC Fight Night 13


Houston Alexander works out in preparation for his bout against Alessio Sakara at UFC 75. Photo courtesy of Houston Alexander.

It looks like the UFC’s tentative March event is all but cancelled now that one of it’s potential main card fights has been moved to another card.

Powerful light heavyweight Houston Alexander will now take on fellow striker James Irvin at UFC Fight Night 13, which will take place at the Broomfield Event Center in Broomfield, Colorado on Wednesday, April 2nd.

The news comes from our friends at MMA Junkie and is also being reported by MMA Weekly as well.

It will be the first time that the UFC has held an event in the state of Colorado since the first Ultimate Ultimate tournament in 1995.

Alexander came out of nowhere to knock off Keith Jardine at UFC 71 in May of last year. The win was considered a huge upset considering that Alexander was not well-known at the time. Alexander followed up with another impressive stoppage victory over former professional boxer Alessio Sakara at UFC 75.

Alexander’s rise to the top was halted when the Nebraska native ran into Chute Boxe product Thiago Silva at UFC 78 this past November. The Brazilian punished Alexander on the ground, eventually putting him to sleep with a flurry of punches from the mount position.

To say that James Irvin has had some bad luck lately is putting it lightly. After defeating Hector Ramirez in his return to the UFC, Irvin’s bout against Thiago Silva was stopped when the California native suffered a knee injury in the first round. Irvin recovered and looked to slug it out with Luis Cane at UFC 79 but ended up being knocked out with an illegal knee, ultimately winning by disqualification.

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