by Jeff Cain
James Irvin made his UFC debut at UFC 51: Super Saturday as a heavyweight against Mike Kyle. His fight this Saturday night is scheduled against Terry Martin, and will take place at light heavyweight. Irvin talked with MMAWeekly about making his debut at 205, his opponent, and gave his prediction of how the bout will end. Sixteen fighters in sixteen days moves one step closer to UFC 54 with James Irvin.
James Irvin hasn’t been 205 pounds since he was in high school, but he’s not concerned about dropping a weight division. “I usually fight at 225-222, and I walked around at the same weight, so to lose ten pounds of muscle, I mean that was overnight. Losing muscle is easier than it is losing fat. I’m actually a lot more comfortable walking around at 215. I was able to push my conditioning up…It worked out just the way I wanted it to.” Irvin told MMAWeekly.
Discussing his opponent, Terry Martin, James commented, “I know he’s a tough guy. He’s undefeated, 10-0…He’s a bit of a brawler though. I know he leans more toward wrestling. He’s not much of a striker, but he does throw leather, and he comes at people real aggressively.”
This fight will be Terry Martin’s UFC debut, and that could be a big factor in the match. James has been there, done that. Talking about his first time in the UFC, Irvin said, “I wasn’t there man. It was the first time that I wasn’t really nervous. That was the first fight I just got in there and was real relaxed. I thought it was a good thing not having that fight or flight kick in, getting nervous to your stomach and stuff. When I got in there it was just too late then. You know?” Irvin feels his mental preparation, and having been there before, will pay off.
Asked his prediction for the fight, Irvin said, “There’s going to be a knockout…It’s going to be a knockout for sure.” Pressed for what round, James commented, “I hope it goes to the third…I’ve put in the work. I mean I don’t want to get in there and get a quick knockout. That’s the last thing I want.”
Saturday night we’ll see if dropping a weight division was a good move for James Irvin. He promised this fight won’t be like his last one in the UFC. In closing, James stated, “I’m really, really excited this time around. I’m really grateful that I’m getting a second chance, and I’m definitely not going to let people down this time.”