Irvin on hopes of UFC return, drug rehab
Dana White was complimentary of you after you were cut from the UFC. Have you been or are you still in contact with anyone from the Zuffa organization?
I’ve been cut three times and Dana has always wanted to have me back. Right now I’m able to work on my wrestling and get everything tuned just right before I make another run to the top…I’m going to stay in Gladiator Challenge for the next year and fill stadiums. Everyone always says “This is my year.” This year is not my year, it’s my time to get better. In 2012 I’ll have my breakout fight and go undefeated which will set me up for a return to the UFC in 2013. My goal is to be a contender in the title mix with top guys like Forrest and Shogun. In the end, I am going to crack the Top 10 in the UFC.
You’ve admitted to being addicted to prescription painkillers in the past. How did you win the battle over addiction?
Yes sir. Rehab. I went to rehab. I didn’t have to go, I took myself in. After the Thiago Silva fight I jacked my knee up and that’s when I got into the painkillers. My dad committed suicide when I was a kid and my mom couldn’t always stay clean, but I was an athlete and didn’t get into drugs…until I was in my twenties. When the first thing a doctor says to you is “Can I get an autograph?” it’s pretty easy to get any drugs you want. But now, anytime I need pain pills to train or fight, then I just don’t train or fight. I just thank God for a second chance. Rehab was the best thirty days of my life.