Kevin Iole’s latest Yahoo! Sports article highlighted James Irvin, whose highly anticipated meeting with top ranked Anderson Silva is but a mere week away. “The Sandman” shared a bit of his strategy for the upcoming bout, which will apparently attempt to exploit his opponent’s perceived lack of punching power:
â€œI just donâ€™t see myself losing,â€ Irvin said. â€œIâ€™m expecting to take a lot of damage. Iâ€™m expecting to eat a lot of his shots, but Iâ€™ve sparred and trained with guys who hit a lot harder than he hits. Iâ€™d rather take three or four of his punches than fight someone like Quinton Jackson, who will just knock you out with either hand.
I donâ€™t think he has that kind of knockout power. I really donâ€™t think he does. Iâ€™m not taking anything away from him, because heâ€™s so well-rounded, but I donâ€™t think he has that heavy handed punching power that someone like Scott Smith or Quinton Jackson does.â€
Strong words from the underdog, but Irvin seems to remain grounded and grateful as well:
“Irvin was working out on the day the fight offer came, but heâ€™d been ignoring his phone as it rang incessantly. Finally, a friend came into the news with the word he had an offer to fight Silva. But Irvin had the wrong Silva in mind.
â€œI thought it was Wanderlei, someone weâ€™ve asked for ever since heâ€™s come here,â€ Irvin said. â€œHeâ€™s a guy Iâ€™d been really wanting to fight. I thought my style would match up real good with his. I never imagined it would be Anderson. He seemed so far out of the picture. I donâ€™t really deserve a shot against that guy right now. Heâ€™s pound-for-pound the greatest fighter on Earth right now. Iâ€™m going to make the most of my moment. Iâ€™m going to make the most of July 19 and Iâ€™m going to bring the best James Irvin I can that night.”
You have to give it to “The Sandman.” His confident yet modest persona coming into UFN 14 definitely helps sell this fight for the UFC, who are doing everything in their power to ensure that the casual fan tunes into UFC Fight Night 14 and not Affliction come the 19th.