Is it possible for a 17-second period of time to be both the funniest folly and the most frustrating fight of your career? For Bobby Southworth it just may have been.
Strikeforce: Revenge was an extended card with heavy action in mind. Six prelims and six main card bouts were hand-picked for as much excitement as the matchmakers could find for the 10,000+ fans in San Jose. Per the usual for Strikeforce events, the fans in attendance and those at home were far from disappointed.
10 finishes in 12 fights. What a night.
Nestled into the eighth spot on the card was a clash between Bobby Southworth vs James Irvin. In spite of every other household name on the card, it was the TUF veteran and UFC veteran who had them all talking by the end of the night.
Only 17 seconds into the fight, Southworth and Irvin went crashing into the cage door, which swung open. Both fighters went crashing to the floor in a moment that was a concoction of confusing, concerning and a dash of hilarious, all at the same time.
“Either the Strikeforce official or the state official who had the pin that goes in the cage door, he was up in a skybox or at least this is what I was told,” Southworth said. “They were using a pen. Like a regular ink pen. I guess after we had gone through several fights of people slamming into the cage door and James and I hit the cage door, it had had enough and it collapsed and we spilled out.”
With complete respect to opponent James Irvin, the concoction Southworth remembers was a little different. There were no parts “hilarious”; instead, it was a heavy substitute of frustrating.
“I hit him with a monster left hook and I didn’t even really realize he was kind of out on his feet and when we hit the ground and I got off him he was still kind of coming out of a daze,” Southworth explained. “The first thing he said was did I break his nose, then he was holding his right ankle, then his right knee, then his left ankle, and his left knee. I don’t know what really injured him, but he chose to not continue in the fight.”
This wasn’t the frustrating part. Southworth was even able to ignore Irvin missing weight; it was the hit his wallet took that left a bad taste in Southworth’s mouth for a solid couple years.
“I think him choosing not to continue cost me $7,000,” Southworth said. “I would have an additional $7,000 on top of what I made to fight. For the time that was decent pay so I was happy with that, but I didn’t get the money.”
As the years have passed, Southworth has found more and more humor in the no contest that ended by way of falling out of the cage. The money made in the last 15 years has diluted the irritation. What he does wonder, however, is what else Irvin’s injury cost him.
Was there a path to the UFC with a finish? We’ll never know now.
“It hurt me because it shouldn’t have been a NC,” Southworth said. “Inside or outside of the cage he was still going to say the same thing. I felt that I should have gotten the win and at the time I still had aspirations of getting back to the UFC. James was a UFC vet at the time, so that would have gone a long way in getting me back into the UFC. At the time, on so many levels, it was just so annoying.”
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