UFC 85: James Irvin Shows Some Respect For Rashad Evans

(photo taken from

When James "The Sandman" Irvin was informed of his
next fight against Rashad Evans, he quickly replied by stating that he was
"appreciative of the guy." 

The UFC selected Irvin to replace Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell at the UFC 85 event in London, England.  He’ll be training hardcore as he prepares to face the wrestling expert
Rashad Evans.  The Iceman was forced off the fight
card in June due to a brutal hamstring injury he suffered during a training
session not too long ago. 

Irvin recently defeated Houston Alexander by way of knockout in
just 8 seconds, the fastest knockout in UFC history.  Prior to his bout against Alexander, Irvin has won three of his last four MMA matches.

Here’s a snip from The Sandman as he talks about his upcoming fight with Evans:

“I’m just so happy that he would even take the fight against me…I consider him
an ‘A’ level fighter, and I consider myself a ‘C’ level fighter, maybe a ‘B’
level because I just beat Houston trying to claw my way up to the top. So for
him to take a step down and fight me, I’m greatly appreciative of the guy, who
is someone I look up to as one of those top tier fighters…Not saying I’m better
than Chuck, just that our styles are different…Chuck seems to want to kind of
take a punch to give two or three back and he’s on his heels back-peddling the
whole time. He really lures people in. He’s just so accurate with his punches…I
don’t want to take a punch. I don’t want people to get off on me first. So I
kind of seem to explode on people and that’s usually when I have my best
fights, when people give me room to jump on them, the way I did against Houston
Alexander…I’m anticipating him changing levels and trying to take me down. If
anything, I’m going to try to catch him at those moments. I plan on getting
taken down, I’d be dumb to say I think I’m not…I’m not going to keep him off
of me, he’s too good of a wrestler. He’s too good of a topical fighter not to
impose his will on me at least a few times. So I’m planning on getting up off
the ground and getting up off my back. And if anything, I want to make him pay
every time he does try to come in and grab a hold of me or close that gap on

(props to

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