Gerald Harris isn’t worried about winning or losing, he just wants to put on a show. Which he’ll be doing moving forward in Bellator MMA, which suddenly feels like home.
“I don’t want this to come off the wrong way, but it’s almost like I don’t care. I don’t care about titles, I don’t care about winning or losing, all I want to do is go out there and put on a show, I want people to want to watch me fight, and I just want to keep my job.”
These are the words of recently unretired fighter Gerald ‘Hurricane’ Harris, who fell short in his return to action last weekend at Bellator 198 against Rafael Lovato Jr.
Serendipity, perhaps. Harris took the fight against Lovato just four days out from the event. Lovato’s original opponent, John Salter, would not be cleared by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (for reasons still unclear). In stepped Harris on just days notice. Bellator would now have a 188lb contracted weight fight. Yes, they are now calling catchweight fights contracted weight fights. You must admit, it does sound far less harsh and much more professional.
A UFC vet, Harris was confident in his ability to make the 185lb limit, however, Bellator officials thought it best to play it safe and give Harris the extra three pounds. “It was a lot,” Harris said when asked how much weight he cut in the three days leading up to the fight.
“I can’t put an exact number on it, only because I don’t know if I’m going to get in trouble,” he admitted, “but it was a lot.”
Harris usually avoids speaking about ancillary issues because he doesn’t want people to misconstrue them as excuses. Still, we have it on good authority that Harris had to lose 30lbs in those three days to make the 188lb mark.
Harris had been pondering another comeback for some time, however, he turned the fight down at first. “I actually said no to the fight when they first called me,” Harris recalled. “When I hung up the phone, I thought, man this is my chance, so I called them back.”
Although the fight didn’t go exactly the way the Tulsa born fighter would have hoped, he did earn a new contract from the Viacom owned promotion. “I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity,” said Harris. “Unfortunately, I came up short, but everyone saw I was down to fight, and that I didn’t come there just for some check.”
Ultimately Harris would impress the Bellator brass, and in the process garner some new fans, which is all he could ask for at this point in his life. “I’ve had an entire career of fighting safe,” said Harris. “I’ve always wanted to win, I’ve always wanted to get the win bonus, all that, but now with my new approach to fighting I think I’m going to accomplish a lot more.”
Whether or not a change was needed, well, only Harris can really know. His 25-6 record speaks for itself; if that’s his idea of playing it safe, then what is the ‘new approach’ going to look like? “I’d rather loose a fight where I went out there and swung for the fences trying to take him out, rather than grind someone for three rounds and put the fans to sleep,” explained Harris.
Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks. Outside of the cage, Harris has taken to the social media game like a fish to water. Plus, 38 years old is a bit on the younger side of the Bellator elite, all factors working in his favor.
Speaking with Gerald, one thing is abundantly clear, he is truly happy to be competing for Bellator MMA. “All the people I met were cool as hell, Rich (Chou), Scott Coker, it almost felt like wrestling again, like it was a family,” explained Harris.
As for what’s next for Harris, we will have to wait and see. Perhaps a match up against Salter, the man he stepped in for at Bellator 198? Things are about to get interesting at 185lbs. Especially for a fighter as talented as Harris, fighting for all the right reasons, and doing it for a company he feels at home with. That spells trouble for the rest of the middleweight division.