MMAMania reports on an interview with James "the Sandman" Irvin who's been serving a suspension for use of unapproved painkillers since his KO loss to Anderson Silva in July:
"My suspension is up on April 19. I will fight on the first card after April…. I’d love to fight Wanderlei [Silva]…. I want to actually try and get to 185. There are a bunch of guys down there that I really want to beat up…. I just fought Anderson Silva who I find a lot scarier than Wanderlei. Not to take anything away from Wanderlei, but I only get up to fight tough guys. I’ve trained for a long time and I’ve worked my way up the ranks. I only want to fight tough guys now. I don’t want to fight any lower class guys. Every time I fight now I’m going to ask for a top 10 guy."
While I admire Irvin's heart, and he has shown a penchant for holding his own against brawlers like Houston Alexander, Hector Ramirez, and Terry Martin, he might want to consider a tune-up fight before taking on someone like Wanderlei. I think Tim Boetsch would make for a great first post-suspension fight for Irvin, although his comments indicate his hesitancy about staying at light heavyweight.
Irvin's confidence regarding his ability to drop to 185 is interesting. He has always seemed very bully and muscular for a 205'er and even had some troubles with that cut if I remember correctly. I'll be very impressed if he can successfully make 185 without any adverse affects on his conditioning.
To his credit, the Sandman has always put on entertaining fights whether he wins or loses, and I'll be happy to see him back once he's finished serving his suspension, hopefully with him having learned a lesson as well.