Irvin vs Weston: Mayhem
On Saturday at the River City Casino, Shamrock Fighting Championships will provide fans with what promises to be one of the most exciting pro-am cards in recent memory with SFC: Mayhem. The co-main event has all the makings of an absolute barn burner. Two of the areas most respected and dangerous pros will square off in a bout that feels like it should have happened long ago.
Eric Irvin (10-4) will step in the cage against Josh Weston (4-4), pitting two premier MMA wrestlers against one another.
Don't let Weston's record fool you, the guy can be a handful. On paper this looks like the scales are tipped in Irvin's favor, but this is MMA. It's not about records, it's about styles and match-ups, and this one is hard to imagine being anything less than a thriller.
This week I had the opportunity to speak with them individually. Here is what they had to say:
Knuckle Junkies: This Saturday, March 12th, you will be fighting Josh Weston, correct?
Eric Irvin: Yessir
KJ: What do you know about Josh?
EI: He's primarily a wrestler, he hits hard, pretty good striking.
KJ: So, what's the trick to beating Weston?
EI: Head movement, cutting angles, stay fast, and get in his face.
KJ: Where are you training and who are your primary training partners?
EI: Still with Destruction MMA. Getting rounds in with Alex White, Austin Knight, Shaine Moffitt, Darin Johnson, and Joe Klos.
KJ: Have you been doing any cross training at other gyms?
EI: Actually, I haven't this time, not at all. The gym is growing and we have guys in there pretty much every day. It's nice to be able to train hard and not have to go far away to do it.
KJ: How is the weight cut going?
EI: Great man, now that I'm back at 170. Haha. A lot better than making 155.
KJ: What is the next step after this fight?
EI: I've got one fight left after this one with Shamrock. The plan is to keep fighting and keep winning. Eventually get to the UFC or one of the really big shows.
KJ: Where do you work?
EI: I'm a graphic designer for Piros Signs. Work full time and train every day after work
KJ: Tell me how this fight ends.
EI: I don't know how it's going to end, but I'm going in there to win. Looking for a win.
KJ: Well, good luck sir, and we will see you Saturday night.
EI: Yessir, thank you.
I then had the opportunity to catch up with Mr. Weston via phone.
Knuckle Junkies: Hey man, how have you been?
Josh Weston: Pretty good. Just got done training
KJ: Where are you training these days?
KJ: What got you into MMA?
JW: Kinda the same old story of finishing up with wrestling and looking for a way to compete. I didn't want to be the guy in his late twenties that became the out-of-shape softball player.
KJ: Haha, you just described me. I was the out-of-shape softball guy.
JW: I just wanted to compete and train. MMA seemed like the best choice
KJ: So, do you and Eric have any history? Fought before? Trained before?
JW: We used to train together a little. Sometimes a couple times a week back in the day.
KJ: Long enough ago that it probably wouldn't be useful?
JW: I wouldn't say that. We have a general idea of what each other can do.
KJ: What do you know about Eric Irvin?
JW: Tough guy. He's a grinder. He likes to wrestle and he hits hard, like me.
KJ: What's the trick to beating Eric?
JW: I just have to fight to my ability like I know I can. I have the right abilities, and I just have to use them.
KJ: Do you have a contract with Shamrock?
JW: No, they called and asked if I'd take the fight and I said that I absolutely would.
KJ: Was this a fight that you had been wanting?
JW: If you're serious about this sport, you want to fight the most talented guys. You should look forward to fighting guys like him. I don't understand why some guys just always fight bums. What does that prove?
KJ: You've got a good point. It happens a lot in this sport. So, what's the plan from here?
JW: Just to win on Saturday
KJ: What about long-term? Are you looking to fight for a while still? What's the end goal?
JW: Just keep winning and see where it takes me. Just go one fight at a time and see where I end up.
KJ: What do you for a living?
JW: I'm living up in St. Louis now working for Sigma Aldrich making chemicals in bulk quantities.
KJ: So, how does the fight play out?
JW: With me winning. I can't say how or anything like that, but I'm definitely going to win.
KJ: Thanks for your time. Good luck Saturday.
JW: Thank you
It's pretty clear both combatants are confident in their abilities. The fans are going to be the real winners with this one.
Tickets for Shamrock FC Mayhem can be purchased at https://www.cagetix.com/shamrockfc.
Or you can watch online at shamrockfightingchampionships.com under the Watch Live banner.
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Shamrock FC: Mayhem
Saturday, March 12th
River City Casino, St. Louis, MO
Photos courtesy of Jimmy Range Photography