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Eric Irvin 2.0

By Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

Rebuilt and retooled, a new Eric Irvin is going to be unveiled on Saturday night.

After his loss to Charlie Brenneman back in January, Irvin was at a crossroads. The lightweight out of Farmington, MO was much better than his 5-3 record would indicate. The Brenneman fight was tough, but it was the gut-wrenching split decision loss to Michael Glosser that still haunted him.

"After the Brenneman fight I just took a second look at myself and was like I don't' want to be just a fifty-fiver " Irvin said. "I want to be the big fifty-fiver, the strong fifty-fiver, or the fast fifty-fiver, or I'm going to move to 45."

Irvin talked with coaches, but the decision was obvious.

"I just decided I like to eat too much, and I want to be the strong guy," Irvin said. "I like to lift weights, and made the transformation. I took three months off just to train and put some bulk on, and I felt like I've done it."

Irvin enlisted the help of Calvary Fitness in Farmington to assist him on his journey. The team designed cross-fit workouts tailored to his desire for strength building and explosiveness.

"I told them kind of what I wanted and they helped me out with certain work outs," Irvin said. "I didn't powerlift to grain mass, I tried to gain strength by doing high-rep, medium weight, all explosive type stuff."

Irvin also began tweaking his diet borrowing from the immensely popular Dolce Diet created by dietitian Mike Dolce, a program that focuses on organics and eating clean, natural food.

"Diet is key, Irvin said. "I read the Dolce Diet and kind of took into that. I've been using it, but kind of catered it to myself. I have took to a lot of his dieting and its really started working for me. I feel I have a lot of energy as I'm starting to cut this weight."

The results were pretty dramatic. Much to the dismay of his training partners, Irvin entered his training camp bigger and stronger than ever before.

"Coming back in training camp I felt a little sluggish at first," Irvin said. "My body wasn't used to all that muscle. I'm used to throwing around 175-180 pounds, and I was up to 192 at one point."

As Irvin powered through the early part of training camp, the weight came down, and his energy increased, and a leaner, stronger Irvin emerged. Less than five days from weigh-in, Irvin only has 15 pounds to lose and is noticeably larger.

In addition to changing his physical abilities Irvin has switched ups his training, working with new training partner Chris Heatherly and his teammates at Fit or Fight MMA in Valley Park. This is in addition to splitting time at Destruction MMA, and St. Charles MMA.

"There's plenty of talent in this area.," Irvin said. "Of course, I train with my gym every day. I get up to St. Charles MMA when I can. I train with Freeman and those guys a lot, and here recently I been coming up to work with Chris and (Steve) Berger on Mondays and Wednesdays."

"It's just good to get in and work with different guys," Irvin said. "We just make each other better."

On Saturday Irvin will take on Adam Ward out of Gilbert Grappling in Chicago. Fans may remember the name Ward from bloody battle with Alex White, Irvin's teammate.

White and Ward battled for three rounds with White winning by split decisions with the narrowest of margins in a fight to be considered for fight of the year.

"He thought he won that fight," Irvin said. "I've heard he kind of wanted to jump up and fight me and get some redemption. He's going to come in there guns a blazing, and more power to him because my guns are drawn."

Ward a natural featherweight has decided to take a gamble and move up to lightweight.

"He's going to be strong, I'm going to be strong," Irvin said. "I'm not looking at him like I'm fighting a fourty-fiver. I'm looking at him like a guy who's coming off a split-decision loss. I know what that's like and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth."

Ward won the first round in the White fight by scoring takedowns and working the ground and pound.

"Take down defense is definitely one of my strengths. Anywhere on the ground is my strength" Irvin said. "I don't think I have any weaknesses really. If you asked and I had to tell you something, I'd say stand-up is my weakness, but I don't feel I'm weak there."

Irvin wrestled for Farmington on a state championship team, qualifying for state.
He attended Labette College in Kansas and red-shirted his freshman year on a NJCAA National Championship team. As a sophomore he was a varsity starter and national qualifier and lost in in overtime just prior to making the All-American round. College roomate Tim Elliot is a top 10 flyweight in the UFC. From there he went into MMA, and is now a blue belt in the Vaghi system under Jon Menke.

Announced last week, Irvin signed a four-fight deal with the MMASF. He also has a new management company, something that has immediately been paying off securing him a sponsorship deal with Intimidation Fight Gear.

A completely upgraded Eric Irvin will be unleashed on Saturday in the co-main event against Adam Ward. The winner of the bout will secure a No. 1 contendorship for the MMASF USA Lightweight title.

Tickets can be purchased at Cagetix at cagetix.com

Special thanks to Sara Levin for the photo. To see more of Sara's great work please visit slevin11.com

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