April 17, 2008.
It’s about six in the morning and I turn on the tube to the Balls channel over Sky Cable.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was on. And anything and everything that is UFC is good in my book as that is pretty much all I can watch these days with the exodus of the Solar Sports network (that carries most (if not all) of the NBA and WWE telecasts).
A replay of the recently concluded UFC Fight Night 13 that happened last April 2, 2008 at the Broomfield Event Center in Broomfield, Colorado is on and about to “get it on” at that moment are James “The Sandman” Irvin and Houston "The Nebraskan Assassin" Alexander (Don’t you just love it when people give themselves monikers and just don’t seem to ever live up to the hype?).
Both competitors were highly touted by the announcers (they always are. And I wouldn't know them from Adam outside of Chuck "The Ice Man" Liddell, Ken "The Most Dangerous Man" Shamrock, Randy "The Natural" Couture, and Tito "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Ortiz) and rightfully so.
At that point in the light heavyweight match up, Alexander (who debut in 2001) held a UFC career record of eight wins, two losses, and a one no contest, while Irvin (who entered in 2003 but has more career UFC fights) had a thirteen win, four loss, and one no contest record.
I turned to my computer as the opening bell rung.
Eight seconds went by.
And it was all over (click here to see the fight in its entirety).
Referee Steve Mazzagatti called the match a T.K.O. (punches) in favor of “The Sandman” who felled Alexander with what the commentators called “A Superman Punch” followed by three ground strikes.
Irvin went on to mimic “shooting a pistol” several times at Alexander who was tended to by referee Mazzagatti.
Eight seconds. (Tied a 12-year old record for the fastest knockout in UFC history when Frye knocked out Thomas Ramirez at UFC 8 on Feb. 16, 1996.)
That’s all it took to best a man who most likely trained for several months for this event…everyday…three times-a-day.
But those are the breaks of the game so to speak, as (they always say that) the safety of the fighters is paramount in such a physical sport and even for a brief moment Alexander was in no position to rationally protect himself.
Later on, Alexander said in a post-fight interview that his child “punches harder” and that of the number of blows that Irvin did or didn’t connect on—only the last one really was of any merit.
In the end, a win is a win.
James “The Sandman” Irvin has put yet another opponent to “sleep.”
Now playing: Mariah Carey - Heartbreaker (Featuring Jay-Z)