MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: James Irvin

UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko — Preliminary Card Results

James irvin weigh in photos UFC Live Jones vs. MatyushenkoJames irvin weigh in photos UFC skinny emaciated
(Back from the grave: James Irvin yesterday [left], and in March [right]. Photos courtesy of CombatLifestyle)

Spoilers after the jump…

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James Irvin Getting One More Chance, Back at Light-Heavyweight

James Irvin skinny middleweight UFC
(Well, he certainly has his mother‘s cheekbones. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

Adding to the long list of horrible stuff that has happened to him in his career, James Irvin‘s last fight at UFC of Versus: Vera vs. Jones was an utter disaster. The Sandman looked painfully emaciated in his first attempt at middleweight, and crumpled to the mat after taking an eye-punch from Alessio Sakara. It was the fourth time in his last five appearances that Irvin has ended a fight on the mat writhing in pain or otherwise immobilized. (See also: Anderson Silva slicing him up, his blown out ACL/MCL against Thiago Silva, and the DQ victory via illegal knee he endured against Luis Cane.) Truly, the Octagon has become a dangerous place for James Irvin. Unfortunately, quitting doesn’t seem to be an option.

Despite the fact that he hasn’t won a fight in over two years, MMA Weekly is reporting that Irvin will get one last shot to redeem himself at UFC on Versus 2 (August 1st, Salt Lake City). Irvin will be heading back up to 205 — thank God — to face Igor Pokrajac, the Cro Cop disciple who has gone 0-2 in the Octagon, dropping fights to Vladimir Matyushenko and James "Hey, Tuna" Te-Huna. Obviously, it’s a must-win for both guys, though if Irvin can make it through the fight without any serious injuries, you have to consider that a victory in itself.

Related: UFC on Versus 2 will also host a middleweight contest between Yushin Okami and Mark Munoz. Rebounding from his UFC 104 loss to Chael Sonnen, Okami turned in one of the most impressive performances of his career when he beat down Lucio Linhares at "Florian vs. Gomi" in March. Munoz is a perfect 3-0 at middleweight, and most recently scored a TKO over Kendall Grove in UFC 112′s Fight of the Night.

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‘UFC on Versus’ Weigh-In Results; Vera vs. Jones Staredown Gets Physical


(Props: Cagewriter)

Two notable moments came out of yesterday’s UFC on Versus: Vera vs. Jones weigh-ins at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado. First off, James Irvin made his public debut at middleweight, and my God, I would kill for those cheekbones. Seriously, the phrase "cancer survivor" comes to mind. Also, Jon Jones got way up in Brandon Vera‘s face after they hit the scale. Dana White stepped in to separate the two so their forehead-jostling wouldn’t turn into something more serious. Jones explained his high emotions following the weigh-ins, telling Steve Cofield: "I just really don’t like Brandon as a person. I just think he’s disrespectful. I think he’s arrogant. I think he’s full of himself…I guess I let his arrogance get under my skin a little bit. It’s just a learning experience. In the future I’ll deal with talkers better."

The weigh-in numbers are after the jump, courtesy of UFC.com. Remember to come back tonight at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT for live round-by-round results…

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James Irvin’s Self-Awareness Is Refreshing, Kind of Sad


(Don’t worry, buddy. We’ll pick you up a pair of oversized sunglasses at the gas station on our way to the after-party, and no one will even notice that thing.)

In the past few years James Irvin has had about as difficult a time as you can experience while still being employed and above ground. His string of untimely injuries and unfortunate mishaps earned him the title of ‘Most Cursed Fighter in MMA History,’ and the last time he was actually healthy enough to limp into the cage he took a beatdown from Anderson Silva and then got suspended for using prescription painkillers. He’s the kind of guy you don’t want to walk down the street with because chances are good that a piano might fall on his head and you’ll end up getting hit with the resulting splinter shrapnel.

But in an interview with Heavy.com on the verge of his return to action at ‘UFC on Versus’ this weekend, Irvin offers a sober assessment of his career and abilities that is so honest and forthright that we don’t know whether to be impressed or really bummed out.

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Alessio Sakara vs. James Irvin Promoted to ‘Vera vs. Jones’ Main Card

Alessio Sakara Thales Leites UFC 101 punch-face
(Alessio Sakara turns Thales Leites’s face all doofy at UFC 101.)

After a few weeks of thumb-twiddling, the UFC has finally decided that the previously announced fight between Alessio Sakara and James "Most Cursed Fighter in MMA History" Irvin will kick off the UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones broadcast next Sunday (3/21) on Versus. The middleweight contest was originally slated for the prelims, but the card’s lineup shifted a bit after Sean Sherk and Anthony Johnson pulled out due to injuries. Sakara is riding back-to-back victories over Joe Vedepo and Thales Leites, but hasn’t competed since last August, while Irvin hasn’t been inside the Octagon since his KO loss to Anderson Silva in July 2008. The current lineup of "UFC on Versus" looks like this…

MAIN CARD
Brandon Vera vs. Jon Jones (LHW)
Junior dos Santos vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (HW)
Cheick Kongo vs. Paul Buentello (HW)
Alessio Sakara vs. James Irvin (MW)

PRELIMINARY CARD
Clay Guida vs. Shannon Gugerty (LW)
Eliot Marshall vs. Vladimir Matyushenko (LHW)
John Howard vs. Daniel Roberts (WW)
Brendan Schaub vs. Chase Gormley (HW)
Mike Pierce vs. Julio Paulino (WW)
Eric Schafer vs. Jason Brilz (LHW)

After the jump: Kongo vs. Buentello video hype, plus a list of international TV stations showing the event courtesy of MMA Junkie.

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UFC’s Most Cursed Fighter Will Try to Return in March Against Alessio Sakara

James Irvin UFC MMA knee injury

It’s kind of crazy to think about it, but UFC fighter James Irvin hasn’t been in the Octagon since his 61-second knockout loss to Anderson Silva, way back in July 2008. Since then, the Sandman has served a nine-month suspension for unauthorized painkiller use and pulled out of two different fights due to knee injuries. (This is the same guy who blew out his knee during a match against Thiago Silva in May 2007, broke his foot while training for a UFC 85 bout against Rashad Evans, and once fell out of the cage during a fight against Bobby Southworth.) And yet the UFC has stuck by Irvin, continuing to offer him fights that he very likely won’t show up for. Everybody cross your fingers, because Irvin will reportedly make his long-delayed middleweight debut at "UFC on Versus" (March 21st; Broomfield, Colorado).

If he can avoid injuries or other major misfortunes for the next two months, Irvin’s opponent will be Alessio Sakara, who most recently won a split-decision over Thales Leites at UFC 101, effectively beating him out of the UFC. Sakara was scheduled to face Rousimar Palhares at the TUF 10 finale, but was forced to withdraw due to injury. This has to be Irvin’s last chance to save his job — will he return to his old superman-punching, flying-knee’ing form, or will he get hit by a bus on the way to weigh-ins?

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The 10 Most Cursed MMA Events of All Time

If it wasn’t for bad luck, Strikeforce’s upcoming “Carano vs. Cyborg” card wouldn’t have any luck at all. Despite the best intentions, some MMA events are destined to be magnets for injuries, unwelcome surprises, and other bizarre occurrences. But which events have been screwed by fate the hardest? Knock on wood, grab your crotch, and read on…

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#10: UFC 67: All Or Nothing, 2/3/07
UFC 67 event poster

The aptly-titled “All or Nothing” event was the first UFC pay-per-view in nearly a year to lack a title fight by the time it finally took place.  That’s all the more disappointing when you consider that it had two a couple months out from the event, pitting TUF “Comeback” winners Matt Serra and Travis Lutter against the champions in their respective weight classes.

The first title fight went down the drain when Georges St. Pierre injured his knee during training and had to put off the fight with Serra (and we all remember how that went when it finally happened).  Fortunately they still had Anderson Silva vs. Travis Lutter to fall back on…right?  Only Lutter failed to make weight for his title shot, downgrading his “Rocky” storyline to a “Bad News Bears” one.  Instead they just had themselves a normal old three-rounder, with Lutter holding his own in the first round before getting triangled/elbowed to death in the second. What fun.

#9: UFC 98: Evans vs. Machida, 5/23/09
UFC 98 Rashad Evans Lyoto Machida MMA poster

The event that famously launched “the Machida Era” only included Lyoto as a last resort. Originally, the card was to be headlined by the heavyweight title scrap between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir, until Mir informed the UFC that he was still recovering from knee surgery. The main event was then changed to a light-heavyweight title fight between Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, but Jackson — who had just gone the distance with Keith Jardine two months earlierbowed out due to lingering hand and jaw injuries. And so, the UFC decided to give a well-deserved light-heavyweight title shot to that weird Brazilian guy with the unibrow.

If you’re Rashad Evans, that would be enough to make this one of the unluckiest fight cards ever. But UFC 98’s string of setbacks extended to the supporting cast as well. Josh Koscheck pulled out of the event due to a broken toe and was replaced by Brock Larson; Koscheck’s scheduled opponent, Chris Wilson, missed the show because of incomplete paperwork. James “Born Under a Bad Sign” Irvin suffered one of his many knee injuries and was replaced by Xavier Foupa-Pokam. Yushin Okami also went down with a dodgy knee and was replaced by Chael Sonnen. And finally, hard-luck-case Houston Alexander broke his hand during training and was replaced by Krzysztof Soszynski. Later, it was discovered that the MGM Grand Garden Arena had been built on an Indian burial ground.

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UFC Fight-Booking Update: Herman Steps in For Irvin, Stevenson vs. Fisher @ UFC 104 + More

Ed Herman David Loiseau MMA
(Photo courtesy of Newsday.)

TUF 3 finalist Ed Herman, who broke a two-fight skid in April with a unanimous decision win over David Loiseau, has been tapped to replace James "Job" Irvin against Wilson Gouveia at UFC 102, according to Sherdog. Irvin was forced to withdraw from the fight this week due to yet another serious knee injury. Herman was previously scheduled to face Aaron Simpson at UFC Fight Night 19 (September 16th, Oklahoma City).

UFC 104 (October 24th, Los Angeles) will reportedly host a lightweight battle between Joe Stevenson and Spencer Fisher. "Joe Daddy" broke a two-fight losing streak of his own when he scored a decision win over Nate Diaz at the TUF 9 finale in June. Fisher is riding a three fight win-streak and most recently outpointed Caol Uno at UFC 99. The match will likely be on the main card, supporting the light-heavyweight title fight between Lyoto Machida and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.

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James Irvin Officially Becomes Most Cursed Fighter in MMA History

James Irvin MMA UFC knee injury
(Looks like somebody’s heading to the glue factory. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Seriously, the Amir Sadollah Curse doesn’t even come close. Carmichael Dave broke the news yesterday that James Irvin, who was scheduled to face Wilson Gouveia later this month at UFC 102, has been forced to drop out of the match due to a serious knee injury suffered in training which will likely require surgery. And that means it’s time to update the James Irvin "Why Me?" timeline…

6/9/06: A Strikeforce match between Irvin and Bobby Southworth ends in a no-contest after both fighters fell out of the cage. Irvin screwed up his left leg during the tumble and couldn’t continue fighting.

5/26/07: Irvin tears the ACL and MCL of his right knee during a UFC 71 match against Thiago Silva, and the fight is ruled a TKO victory for Silva.

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Houston Alexander Keeps UFC 98 Injury Curse Alive


(Does Houston’s abdomen remind anybody else of Kuato? Photo courtesy of jhiner.)

Bad news for fans who wanted to see Houston Alexander‘s do-or-die, for-real-this-time fight against Andre Gusmao at UFC 98 (May 23rd, Las Vegas). As confirmed on UFC.com, the Assassin has suffered a broken hand and has withdrawn from the match, making him the sixth big-name fighter to be scratched from the event. According to Fightlinker’s records, "Evans vs. Machida" is just one injury away from tying the all-time UFC record for unfortunate pull-outs, which is currently held by UFC 85. To recap the black cloud that has been hanging over UFC 98…

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