James Irvin. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
It’s only been a few weeks since James Irvin tested positive for banned painkillers following his devastating knockout loss to reigning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC Fight Night 14 in July. The two kinds of drugs in his system - Oxymorphone, an opiate which is primarily used to alleviate severe pain and Methadone, which is alternatively used to treat recovering drug addicts - are pretty powerful stuff.
Turns out that Irvin did indeed use them:
“In the days leading up to my fight with Anderson Silva, I experienced some residual pain in my foot from a previous injury,” wrote Irvin in an Aug. 14 letter. “I made the extremely poor choice to take some pain medications that I did not have a prescription for. I realize this was an ignorant and dangerous decision.”
Irvin’s decision is one sort of similar to that of Hermes Franca before his fight with Sean Sherk at UFC 73 last summer, attempting to take banned substances in order to make it through an entire training camp when really Irvin should have just been shutting it down. He had no business taking a fight, especially against Silva of all people without his broken foot being fully healed. Here’s to hoping that this is a lesson learned to Irvin.