Spike TV Thursday announced it will broadcast the UFC light heavyweight bout between Anderson Silva—considered the best pound-for-pound mixed martial arts fighter in the world—and James Irvin live from Las Vegas on Saturday, July 19 at 9 p.m. ET.
Anderson “The Spider” Silva (pictured) burst onto the UFC scene with a devastating knockout of Chris Leben in June 2006, seen live on Spike TV. The native of Curitiba, Brazil, Silva became UFC Middleweight champ by an impressive TKO over Rich Franklin at UFC 64 in October 2006. He has made four title defenses, all victories via TKO or submission, including most recently over former PRIDE champion, Dan Henderson at UFC 82 in March.
Nicknamed “The Sandman,” Irvin, has “a propensity for putting his opponents to sleep in dynamic fashion,” network officials said. His flying knee against Terry Martin in August 2005 at UFC 54 is legendary and his aforementioned knockout of Alexander tied the record for fastest knockout in UFC history. Fighting out of Sacramento, CA, Irvin has won four out of his last five UFC bouts but was recently scratched from UFC 85 in June after suffering a broken foot. A victory over the undefeated Silva would certainly be the career highlight thus far for the 29 year-old slugger.
The undercard features a battle of two of the rising stars in the heavyweight division as former Purdue University standout wrestler, Jake O'Brien, takes on Yuma, Arizona native Cain Velasquez. In January 2007, O'Brien's (10-1) victory spoiled the UFC debut of former PRIDE star Heath Herring with a third round decision victory, telecast live on Spike TV. Now, the skilled grappler from Indianapolis looks to spoil Velasquez's national television debut on Spike. Velasquez (3-0) made a triumphant UFC debut in April 2008 with an impressive first round knockout of Brad Morris at UFC 83. A victory over O'Brien in Spike's high-profile fight card will elevate his status among the sport's top heavyweights.
Spike TV is available in 96.1 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks.