In just one short week, James Irvin will face the biggest challenge of his MMA career when he takes on what many consider to be the most devastating striker in mixed martial arts today, Anderson Silva. Silva has largely used his Muay Thai kickboxing background to devastate his opponents since entering the Octagon. But unlike Silva’s previous UFC opposition, Irvin will bring a strong Muay Thai pedigree into the Octagon on July 19 as well. The question is, how will Irvin’s skills stack up against the Brazilian’s at the higher weight?
While no one knows for sure, unlike Silva’s previous opponents, Irvin isn’t coming up with an elaborate game plan for “The Spider.”
Since I’ve taken the fight, a lot of people have come up to me and asked, ‘What’s your game plan? What’s your game plan?’ I go, ‘What kind of a game plan can I have against the guy? He’s better than me on the ground. He’s better than me standing up. What am I going to do?’ I don’t have to go in there and beat him at jiu-jitsu or beat him at Muay Thai. I can go in and fight the guy. I’ll go in and mix it all together and see if my style works with his or not.
Considering no one else’s approach has been effective, perhaps the best game plan is no game plan at all.
Irvin isn’t afraid of Silva’s power either.
I just don’t see myself losing. I’m expecting to take a lot of damage. I’m expecting to eat a lot of his shots, but I’ve sparred and trained with guys who hit a lot harder than he hits. I’d rather take three or four of his punches than fight someone like Quinton Jackson, who will just knock you out with either hand.
I don’t think he has that kind of knockout power. I really don’t think he does. I’m not taking anything away from him, because he’s so well-rounded, but I don’t think he has that heavy handed punching power that someone like Scott Smith or Quinton Jackson does.
While whether or not Silva has one punch knockout power is debatable, Anderson certainly has that kind of power in his knees, just ask Rich Franklin. The difference here is Silva has to watch out for Irvin’s clinch as much as Irvin has to stay out of his.
The only thing guaranteed in this fight is James Irvin is coming to do just that—fight.