The Featherweight division may be the best division in MMA. With guys like Conor McGregor, Jose Aldo, Daniel Straus, Patricio Pitbull, and much more in the UFC, Bellator, WSOF, etc. In just five years and 13 fights, Andre “The Bull” Harrison has put himself in that discussion with these top guys while in Titan FC.
Since joining Titan FC in 2014, Harrison has compiled six straight wins with a successful title win and three defenses. While always on a card with dual title fights, Harrison has widely become one of the biggest stars under the Titan FC banner. He looks to defend his Featherweight belt against Alexandre Bezerra at Titan FC 41 on September 9, live on UFC Fight Pass.
With 13 straight wins, four by stoppage, “The Bull” has made his case to be in the top tier MMA organizations with a win in his next fight against Bezerra. Andre talked about his time with Titan FC, his future in the sport of MMA, MMA in New York City, and his upcoming title fight.
Vinny Craig: You have been with Titan FC for a while, even before they went to UFC Fight Pass. Have you seen more exposure with your fights being broadcast on Fight Pass, either with yourself or the company?
Andre Harrison aka The Bull: For myself, everything I’ve gone through with them [Titan FC], being on all the different cards, on the undercard or main card, it’s helped me to grow to fight in different places. I would say the exposure has helped with the growing process of being a fighter.
VC: You mentioned fighting at all different stops on a card, but you have yet to headline a card. Is that something you want to do in the future with either Titan or another organization?
TB: I can’t call that. I would of that I would have been the main event of this card. To be honest, I really don’t want to wait until the last fight of the night, I would rather get it out of the way early.
VC: Your opponent, Bezerra has fought and beat a lot of high-level fighters. How do you handle him in this fight?
TB: Just go out there and fight my fight. He’s fought tough guys, I’ve fought tough guys. Whoever can implement their game better is going to win. I just have to go out there and do what I do.
VC: You train out of Bellmore Kickboxing close to New York City. What are your thoughts on MMA making its return to the state of New York and the city specifically?
TB: I think it’s great for the sport. There are a lot of great fighters from New York. You have guys like Chris Weidman, Jon Jones, some of my training partners in the UFC Randy Brown and Chris Wade, newly signed Greg Gilespie all from New York. Those are going to make a great card.
VC: If you can pull off the victory in this fight, is UFC 205 an ideal card for you to make your UFC debut on?
TB: It would be history in two different ways. It would be the first MMA event in New York City and it would be my debut in the UFC. It would be great, I would love that.
VC: You fight in the Featherweight division where you have been for most of your career. There is a resurgence to this division with guys like Conor McGregor, Jose Aldo, Max Holloway, yourself even showing how high level this division is. What has it been like to have this resurgence of the division you have been a part of for so long?
TB: It’s great to be a part of it. I know a lot of people who are just fans and aren’t too knowledgeable of the sport and they look at us [smaller fighters] and say ‘they can’t fight because they’re small’. That’s not true, fighting is a lot of skill and technique behind it. One of the most talented guys I know is Demetrious Johnson and he fights at 125. I can watch that guy go at it all day long. I’m excited that the Featherweight division is coming along and people are excited to watch it. The division is finally getting some notoriety to it.
VC: Inside of your division, places like the MMA Sun and Tapology are rating you as one of the best Featherweight prospects outside of the UFC. After your fight on September 9, where do you see your career going from here?
TB: Hopefully to the UFC. That’s the goal is to be in the number one promotion right now. With the UFC being the best, champions there are considered the best in the world and I think that is every fighter’s goal. We don’t train so hard to be number 2 or 3, we train to be number 1 and that’s what I’m gunning for.
VC: If your next fight is with the UFC, who would you like your debut to be against?
TB: I’ll fight anybody, but last time I got asked this question I said I would want to fight Clay Guida. He’s had a great career and he’s an exciting fighter. I feel like a fight with him would get me to where I want to be relatively quickly.
VC: You’ve been a high-level fighter since the beginning, so I have to know. What’s the craziest thing that’s happened inside the cage during one of your fights?
TB: The leg break from Ribeiro [in my last fight]. It was something I didn’t expect to happen. We train for anything to happen, but I didn’t expect that to happen in an actual fight.
VC: Prediction for your fight?
TB: I’m going with a third-round TKO.
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Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Michael Page Not Focusing on Opponent Ahead of Boxing Debut
MMA Latest spoke to Bellator’s Michael ‘Venom’ Page, as he makes his boxing debut this Friday at the Hayemaker Ringstar Fight Night.
Page (12-0 MMA) is renowned for his entertaining fight style inside the cage, with most of his knockout and submission victories ending up in highlight reels online, that almost always go viral.
‘MVP’ was supposed to make his boxing debut on the undercard of David Haye vs Tony Bellew in March of this year, but due to ongoing negotiations with Bellator, his debut was delayed. Shortly after Page signed with Haye’s promotion “Hayemaker Ringstar.”
Q: So, Michael, we’re about five days out now from your big boxing debut, and still we have no name of an opponent? Can you break the big news, who will you be fighting next week?
I honestly couldn’t even tell you his name right now! I know I’ve got an opponent, but I haven’t even looked at him because it has changed so many times. I don’t like to pay too much attention to it, because it’s added stress. For me it’s just a case of turning up, and firing punches at whoever is across the ring.
Q: Is this fight 10 or 12 rounds? Given a standard boxing fight is a lot longer than your typical 15-minute MMA bout, has there been an emphasis on cardiovascular work in your training camp?
Depending on the opponent, I think it’s 6-rounds. The preparation has been different, I’m having to stress out my shoulders and core a lot. The kicking distance as well is very different, getting used to having people a bit closer. I’m getting used to the corners of the ring, I’ve done it before but not to this extent so I am familiar of it, but my body wasn’t really used to it.
Q: So, is this kind of like a one fight deal for Haye’s Ringstar promotion? Regardless of this fight’s outcome, will you return to MMA?
Not at all, I’m taking it seriously. Otherwise, I would have just had a super fight against a big name like McGregor did. This is why I can’t just jump into a 12 round fight, I need to adjust my body and get it prepared for boxing.
There’s no future plans yet, I’d like to have an MMA fight again before the end of this year, as I haven’t fought this whole year, but another opportunity for boxing may come up and I might get a chance to jump on that, so it depends.
Q: Were you frustrated that Bellator booked Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin, and if you could send a message to Daley right now what would it be?
I have no interest in him anymore. It feels so pathetic and unnecessary now. I don’t think he deserved that fight with Larkin right after the shocking display he put on in Wembley against Rory MacDonald. But good on him he beat Larkin, however he calls me out immediately after then goes on to say he’s past that fight, it just doesn’t make sense.
Q: A statement we hear a lot is “MVP is the only guy outside the UFC that I want in the UFC” People criticise the talent in Bellator and say you’re fighting nobodies, what do you say back to them?
The amount of times you hear “you shouldn’t fight this person, you should have fought that person.” Everyone’s got an idea of what the correct steps someone should make are, but at the end of the day it’s their career. People are so fickle and easy to forget. If you are a fan of somebody, just be a fan of them regardless of win or loss.
Q: I’ve got to ask about how things are with Bellator, because from the outside looking in it’s quite unclear. How is it relationship at the moment?
Yeah I get on with most of the guys, it’s like a small family. I’ve still got a couple of fights left with them, they’re growing very well, the only problem is I feel like they’re focusing a bit too much on ex UFC fighters. For me it says you’re classing yourself as second best. Bellator generate some amazing superstars and young talent, they should continue to promote them.
You can watch ‘MVP’ make his boxing debut this Friday night, as the Hayemaker Ringstar Fight Night will air at 21:00PM on Dave.
Exclusive: Alex Lohore “Didn’t Know” Who Richard Kiely Was Before BAMMA 32 Booking
We spoke to the recently crowned BAMMA welterweight champion Alex Lohore, as he prepares to defend his title against Richard Kiely at BAMMA 32 in Dublin.
Lohore (13-1) won the vacant BAMMA welterweight title last month at BAMMA 31 in London. Fighting his longtime rival Nathan Jones on the night, Lohore knocked out “Mr Bag & Tag” with a knee in the first round.
Q: Obviously the rivalry between you and Jones had been going on for years, but you finished it in brutal fashion. Did you to speak to him after the fight?
Yeah I did have a chat with him. I was telling him that it was a great fight and we should train together sometime, but he was he wasn’t really keen on it. I guess he was still a bit sore about the defeat.
Q: In the cage after your win, you called out Richard Kiely, now you’re fighting him. Are you happy you got the opponent you asked for?
Everyone keeps saying I called him out, I didn’t call him out, he called me out! I didn’t even address his name, I said ‘this Irish kid has been running his mouth we’re going to go out there and shut him up.’ I didn’t even know who he was. He’s been mentioning my name and talking a lot of rubbish on my social media disturbing me and my fans.
Q: The finish against Jones was picture perfect. From the elbow, to the right hand, to the knee, was it the best of your career?
Yeah I think it is, by far! It was perfect technique. I knew as he was going he back he would try to duck in for the takedown. Because I was throwing the head kick anyway all I needed to do was just switch it to a knee. I couldn’t ask for any better.
— BAMMA (@BAMMA) September 15, 2017
Q: Given it’s in Dublin and Richard is Irish, How do you feel about going into enemy territory at BAMMA 32?
That’s great, that’s why I’m doing it! I need to be comfortable in every environment, so going out there will test. I wanted to be on the Dublin card, now I can teach him a little lesson too, I can’t wait.
Q: As you know the Geordie Shore star Aaron Chalmers has brought a lot of attention to BAMMA recently, what are your thoughts on him?
He’s good man. For someone who doesn’t come from a fighting background and does reality TV stuff, he’s doing good. How can people say he should fight someone more experienced, because he is taking guys that are on his level and he’s doing good.
He’s helping MMA fighters because he has got a big following so more people are going to be watching MMA and learning about MMA so it’s a good thing having him on board.
Opponent announced in the next few weeks
The team has asked Bamma for an opponent with pro wins
— Aaron Chalmers (@AaronCGShore) October 6, 2017
BAMMA32 will take place at the 3Arena in Dublin on November 10th. Tickets are now on sale at ticketmaster.ie. The card will air live on both UNILAD’s Facebook page, and Dave.
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