Things were different back in April 2008. Houston Alexander was still a scary up-and-comer in the UFC light-heavyweight division, trying to rebound from a TKO loss to Thiago Silva, and James Irvin was known as only a mildly cursed fighter. The two strikers first met at UFC Fight Night 13, and Irvin stunned the crowd by scoring an eight-second knockout via superman punch. The match represented Irvin’s high-point in the Octagon, as well as the beginning of the end for Alexander as a UFC fighter.
These days, they’re both trying to scrape together a career in smaller promotions. Irvin is coming off his controversial no-contest against Mike Crisman, while Alexander is riding a two-fight win streak, including a TKO victory over Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at Shark Fights 13. And according to the Assassin via Twitter, the two will meet again in the co-main event of Shark Fights 14 (March 11 at the Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, TX).
In Irvin vs. Alexander II, Shark Fights has a match with a number of things going for it. First off, it’s a guaranteed smash-up. Irvin’s last nine fights have ended in the first round, and aside from his weird dance-off with Kimbo Slice at the TUF 10 finale, Alexander can also be counted on for an entertaining performance. The fight has a built-in storyline, and brings some old UFC heat to the Shark Fights card. Also, it involves two fighters who really need a win to continue their comeback. The loser of this fight goes back to square one. The winner gets a tiny bit of redemption — especially if it’s Houston who gets his hand raised at the end.
We have to admit, we’re interested in seeing what happens. Shark Fights 14 will be headlined by a middleweight bout between UFC vets Matt Horwich and Danillo Villefort. And if Don Frye is doing color-commentary again, shit, you can’t afford not to watch it.