Khalidov-Irvin Headlines 9-Bout KSW 15 Bill

By Mike Whitman Mar 16, 2011
Mamed Khalidov defends his KSW title against James Irvin on March 19. | Daniel Herbertson/

Polish promotion Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki announced Wednesday its complete nine-fight lineup for KSW 15.

The event, which goes down March 19 at Torwar Hall in Warsaw, will be headlined by a light heavyweight title attraction between reigning KSW king Mamed Khalidov and UFC veteran James Irvin.

Khalidov was originally slated to defend his title against veteran Matt Lindland, but the Oregonian was forced to withdraw from the contest with a hand injury. Former UFC middleweight title challenger Thales Leites was tapped as a replacement, a knee injury ruled the Brazilian out as well.

James Irvin was announced as Khalidov's challenger one week ago, a week after reported that Irvin allegedly tested positive for steroids following his December loss to Jorge Oliveira at Tachi Palace Fights 7.

The card will also feature UFC and Pride veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou taking on rising European prospect Jan Blachowicz in a 205-pound affair.

A loser of four of his last five fights, Irvin most recently fought Mike Crisman to a no-contest at a Gladiator Challenge event on Jan. 29. The fight was waved off after Irvin hit Crisman with an illegal knee to the head in the first frame. Irvin was cut from the UFC in 2010 after suffering consecutive losses to Anderson Silva, Alessio Sakara and Igor Pokrajac.

Khalidov has won 18 of his last 21 fights, his lone loss in that span coming to former Sengoku middleweight champion Jorge Santiago. After knocking Santiago out at Sengoku 11 in November 2009, the Brazilian bounced back to earn a unanimous nod over Khalidov the following March.

Most recently, the 30-year-old Chechen native got his hand raised at World Victory Road's “Soul of Fight” on Dec. 30, knocking out Japanese journeyman Yuki Sasaki in the first round.
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