The rematch between Light Heavyweights James Irvin and Houston Alexander will no longer be a part of the Shark Fights 14 line-up, as each fighter has been forced to withdraw.
The promotion made the announcement after reports indicated that Irvin (15-8) had tested positive for steroids following his loss to Jorge Oliveira at Tachi Palace Fights 7 in December. Alexander (11-6), on the other hand, sustained an undisclosed injury during training and will also be unable to compete.
"Due to Irvin’s "alleged" steroid allegations and an undisclosed injury that Houston Alexander suffered during training, we were forced to pull the bout from the Shark Fights 14 line-up," said Shark Fights President Brent Medley. "We plan to reschedule the long awaited Alexander vs. Irvin re-match in the near future and are currently wrapping up negotiations for another very compelling Shark Fights 14 co-main event. Details will be announced soon, so stay tuned!"
While the promotion appears set on scheduling the fight at a later date, if the test is confirmed to be positive, Irvin could face a suspension that would keep him sidelined for a significant period of time.
Irvin and Alexander first met back in 2008 at UFC Fight Night 13, where Alexander was knocked out by "The Sandman" just eight seconds into the fight.
Since losing to Kimbo Slice, and subsequently being released by the UFC in 2009, Alexander has won two of three match-ups and is currently enjoying a two-fight win streak.
Irvin, meanwhile, was cut by the UFC after a first round submission loss to Igor Pokrajac in August. Most recently, "The Sandman" faced Mike Crisman in a Gladiator Challenge match-up, which ended in a "no contest" after Irvin landed an illegal knee strike to Crisman's head.
Shark Fights 14 will take place March 11th at the Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, Texas and is headlined by a Middleweight showdown between Matt Horwich and Danillo Villefort.