Walt Harris welcomes matchup with Ngannou after Overeem

Share With Your Friends
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn


BOSTON — Walt Harris is on an upward trajectory in the UFC heavyweight division, and he doesn’t want it to stop.

Harris (13-7 MMA, 6-6 UFC) gets his most high-profile opportunity to date in December when he meets Alistair Overeem (45-17 MMA, 10-6 UFC) in the UFC on ESPN 7 headliner. It’s a chance for “The Big Ticket” to prove where he stands in the division, and despite facing an opponent with significantly more experience, thinks he brings something unique to the table.

“He ain’t seen me,” Harris told reporters, including MMA Junkie, backstage at UFC on ESPN 6 on Friday. “Go back through his log and you have never seen a guy that fought him like I’m going to fight him. Or even a guy that presents the challenges that I’m going to present to him. I respect Overeem, I have the utmost respect for him, but every dog’s got his day and I feel like it’s my time, it’s my turn to step into that spotlight and be what I’m supposed to be. I’m ready for success.”

If Harris can get past Overeem in their main event matchup, which takes place Dec. 7 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., he would be on a three-fight winning streak. That would give him position for another big fight, and with the heavyweight belt tied up until Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier have their trilogy, there’s a clear target.

Francis Ngannou (14-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) recently expressed his unhappiness to MMA Junkie about being the odd man out of the title picture. He wants to keep active, and Harris said he would be a more than willing foe.

“Someone sent me an article today where Ngannou was frustrated,” Harris said. “He mentioned my name. That’s a fight I’ve always wanted so when I get the win over Overeem fighting him would be good – that would put me at the cusp of doing what I came here to do, you feel me? So him, Derrick Lewis, all these heavyweights I feel like I match up well with all of them and I feel like I bring something to the table that they really, really going to have to grind and themselves ready for.”

First things first, though, Harris must get past the task at hand. Overeem might be on the back end of his career, but the former Strikeforce and DREAM champ has proven he’s still dangerous. Harris said he respects what Overeem brings to the table, because he’s been watching “The Reem” for as long as he can remembers.

“Fighting Overeem is something I’ve always wanted,” Harris said. “I watched this guy fight before I ever put a pair of gloves on, so to be able to step in the octagon and compete against somebody who is widely considered a legend, is a great moment for me. And I think it’s my time so I’m going to go in there and take him out.

“The only time I ever (idolized an opponent) was in the (Andrei) Arlovski fight. I did. I was like, ‘Oh man, this is ‘The Pitbull.” I saw the mouthpiece, I was like, ‘Holy crap, I remember watching him blitz across the cage.’ But now it’s like, I belong here. I’m in my spot where I’m supposed to be and it’s only up from here for me.”



Source link

Share With Your Friends
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn