Looking back on a successful 2016 that saw him pick up wins in his four fights for the year and remain undefeated to start off his pro career, featherweight Andre Harrison admits it didn’t go as smoothly as it could have, but he nonetheless persevered.
In particular, Harrison’s wins over Steven Siler at Titan FC 37 in March, and Alexandre Bezerra in September at TFC 41 presented their own challenges for him to overcome.
“With Siler, that guillotine that he has, he’s really good at getting that,” Harrison told MMAWeekly.com. “Bezerra had me in all kinds of trouble in that fourth round, and somehow I managed to come out of there and have a really dominant performance in the fifth round.
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“I learned a lot during that time frame, so it was a good year. Good wins over good opponents.”
Entering his sixth year of fighting in2017, Harrison feels he’s been able to grow significantly over the course of his pro career, and is committed to continuing his growth moving forward.
“There’s overall a big difference, it’s a completely different ballgame,” he said. “Even my wrestling is different. I don’t even shoot the same I used to shoot back then. I think I’ve improved in pretty much every area, and I’m looking to continue on that road.”
Harrison (15-0) challenges Lance Palmer (11-2) for the World Series of Fighting 145-pound championship in the evening’s co-main event on Saturday in Verona, N.Y.
“You get two wrestlers together and you get yourself a striking war,” said Harrison of facing Palmer. “With that being said, I have to control the fight from the feet; back him up with good pressure on the feet; and be the aggressor. I have to be the aggressor to etch out this win.”
Having held titles previously in other promotions, the physical belt doesn’t mean a whole lot to Harrison. For him it’s more about the experience of the fight and what it does for him that matters.
“Honestly, the titles that I have won in the past are at the gym,” he said. “It’s not something that I carry around. I know people who hang them up at the house or something, but I don’t really care too much about that kind of stuff.
“To me it’s more about the fight and the experience of it. That’s what I enjoy the most. I enjoy the memories of the actual fight; good shots I might have landed, good take downs and how I felt overall; that’s what I enjoy the most.”
Perhaps even more important to Harrison is proving that he belongs at this level, and that he’s going to be someone to reckon with in his new promotion.
“I’m going in there to take this title, and definitely want to defend it, and solidify myself as the top of the division here,” he said. “I want to let people know that I didn’t come to WSOF just to be here. I came here with a goal and purpose, and I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure I get there.”
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