Thursday, March 10, 2011

Aoki is back in the states while Irvin scurries off to Europe

Strikeforce is putting together a fascinating card in San Diego. The April 9th event was originally was supposed to feature part two of the heavyweight Grand Prix's first round. Because of licensing issues with Josh Barnett, those fights were moved to Dallas in June.

Scott Coker has thrown together an excellent card in its place. Nick Diaz will defend his 170 title against Paul Daley and Gilbert Melendez puts his 155 title on the line versus Tatsuya Kawajiri. The latest addition to the card is former top five lightweight Shinya Aoki. had the original news

The infamous Japanese submission artist will battle Lyle Beerbohm. It's an interesting booking with Beerbohm (16-1) having just suffered his first career loss at the hands of Pat Healy. That said, Aoki (26-5) is also coming off a devastating loss at the hands of Yuichiro Nagashima. That was the bizarre fight fought under varying rules at Dynamite!! 2010. The first round featured K-1 rules. Aoki drop kicked and flopped his way through those three minutes. In round two, the MMA portion of the fight, Aoki got drilled in the opening seconds by a knee and went night night (4:05 mark).

Aoki hits the ground in Southern California in less than four weeks, while James Irvin has to leave the state and country for that matter to get a fight. Irvin, who has multiple positive tests for banned substances, is expected to fight in Poland on Mar. 19.

If he goes through with the fight against Mamed Khalidov, it could effectively end his fighting career in the U.S. Irvin was dumped from this week's Shark Fights 14 card in Texas when it was revealed he tested positive again for a banned substance back in December after a win in Calfornia over Jorge Oliveira. He is suspended through this December. Irvin's checkered history with positive tests and injuries is unrivaled in MMA.  

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