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James Irvin scheduled to fight Alessio Sakara at UFC on Versus

After an extensive 18 month layoff, UFC middleweight James Irvin (14-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) is set to make his return in a bout with fellow veteran Alessio Sakara (14-7 MMA, 5-4 UFC). The fight will take place at the UFC’s first card on the Versus network in March.

The news of the bout was initially reported on and confirmed by sources close to each fighter that bout agreements had been distributed.

The event, dubbed “UFC on Versus: Vera vs. Jones” is on tap for March 21st in Broomfield, Colo. Headlining the card is an intriguing light heavyweight matchup between longtime UFC vet Brandon “The Truth” Vera and up-and-coming prospect Jon “Bones” Jones.

“The Sandman” James Irvin has not fought since a July 2008 TKO loss to Anderson Silva in a light heavyweight non-title affair. Since then, Irvin has been placed on the backburner by a combination of injuries and a mandatory suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after testing positive for prescription painkillers.

Sakara is coming off of two UFC wins, including one over Joe Vedepo in 2008 and a decision win over Thales Leites at UFC 101 in August of this past year. Recently, Sakara was forced out of a bout with Rousimar Palhares after succumbing to an undisclosed injury during his training camp.

The current lineup also includes a heavyweight clash between Junior Dos Santos and Gabriel Gonzaga, as well as welterweight affair between rising stars Anthony Johnson and John Howard.

  • Can you say one of the only likely fights ever for a double KO…this wont be a technical chess match, but it’ll be fun to watch for the short time it lasts!

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  • Jstew3785 says:

    Hell yea! Always love to see the Sandman fight. Hopefully the drop to MW doesn’t take too much out of him. This card is fuckin stacked!

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  • Guthookd says:

    Oah yeah. Good fight. Should be a light show in the cage for this one. I’m going to have to pick Alessio though. One good shot on the chin is all it will take.

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  • Dufresne says:

    I’m not sure who I like for this. Alessio got beat by Chris Leben and Houston Alexander and Irvin is, IMO, a better striker than those two. But Irvin was a pretty shredded LHW and he’s dropping down another 20 pounds so I’m worried about how the cut will hit him. Hopefully dropping down in weight doesn’t affect him too much and we see a hell of a show.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    There are no real ramifications from the outcome of this fight why didn’t they just do it at a catchweight and get both guys in there with plenty of gas and let em swing for the fences…

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  • Rich S. says:

    I’ve always felt kind of “meh” about Sakara..
    But MAN am I a fan after that Vedepo headkick knockout in his MW debut..

    Unfortunately I don’t really like his chances against the Sandman.. Dude has some heavy hands and nice striking, AKA the formula to beating Legionarius..

    There is the huge layoff that Sakara can try to take advantage of thought, so we’ll see..

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  • rodneydink says:

    I am sure glad to see irvin back he is a fun fighter to watch I think that if he stays heathy and works his ass of that he could make a run in the 185 pound div. I do think that he will beat sakara cause all of sakaras fights have been less then good fights and that his hands are not as good or heavy as irvins I do think it will be a sluging match but irvin sould win

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