("When the first thing a doctor says to you is ‘Can I get an autograph?’ it’s pretty easy to get any drugs you want." Photo courtesy of UFC.com)
By CagePotato contributor Jason Moles
Coming off a loss to Jorge Oliveira in December, James Irvin returned to action last weekend at Gladiator Challenge: Young Guns 4 — and he would have gotten his much-needed rebound victory, if it wasn’t for the meddling of celebrity referee Ken Shamrock. (Seriously. You can’t make this stuff up.) Freak occurrences have plagued Irvin’s career from the beginning, and that night was no different. "The Sandman" recently gave us on opportunity to chat with him about his anti-climactic match against Mike Crisman, his battle with painkiller addiction, and his plan to make another run in the UFC.
CAGEPOTATO.COM: First and foremost, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to talk with us at CagePotato. Tell me a little about the physical toll your body has taken after fighting three times in the past four months.
JAMES IRVIN: It’s been good for me. It’s tough, but I’ve been doing this for ten years. In shape, out of shape, and back into shape again. Kinda like what Chris Leben said — it keeps me sharp. I fight again on February 20th and have two fights in March, one in May. I train best when it’s intense and there’s nothing more intense than training for a fight.
Speaking of fights, your last one ended after an inadvertent illegal knee to the head of your opponent. As a result, Ken Shamrock ruled the fight a No Contest. What really went down in the cage?
Honestly, three weeks ago Ken turned down a fight with me, so as soon as I saw that he was going to be the ref I had a bad feeling. He kept coming back to the locker room to give us his version of the rules like this was my first rodeo. As for Crisman, I beat the brakes off this fool. I KO’d the guy and walked away before Shamrock even got there, and two minutes later, he says I illegally kneed him and it’s a no contest. It’s cool. I don’t have a scratch on me, and [Gladiator Challenge promoter] Tedd Williams says I can rematch Crisman in May.