Former light heavyweight James Irvin will make his middleweight debut at UFC 98 against fellow hard-hitter Drew McFedries on May 23rd in Las Vegas, MMAFrenzy.com has confirmed.
Additionally, lightweight “Ultimate Fighter 8” cast members Dave Kaplan and George Roop will square off at the event, according to MMAJunkie.com.
Irvin was last in action in July when he headlined UFC Fight Night 14 opposite Anderson Silva, losing via knockout in just 61-seconds. After the fight he tested positive for the banned painkillers methadone and oxymorphone and received a nine-month suspension that expires in mid-April. “The Sandman” is 14-5 in his career, including a 4-4 mark in the UFC. Since returning to the promotion in late-2006 Irvin has scored victories over Hecotr Ramirez, Luis Arthur Cane, and Houston Alexander while dropping bouts to Thiago Silva and Silva.
Known for his impressive knockouts, McFedries has gone just 3-4 in the UFC since debuting with the promotion in late-2006. Following a 3-2 start in the UFC that included wins over Alessio Sakara, Jordan Radev, and Marvin Eastman, McFedries most-recently dropped back-to-back fights to Mike Massenzio and Thales Leites.
UFC 98 is expected to be headlined by a heavyweight championship unification bout between title-holders Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir and is also slated to feature the grudge match between former welterweight champions Matt Hughes and Matt Serra.