Get to Know UCMMA/ECMMA Flyweight Champ Harry Keane

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Harry Keane
Credit: Youtube/UCMMA

A young British prospect in Harry Keane was set to make his second appearance this year, at Retribution Fight Night in London, England. Keane was looking to get back in the cage with flyweight gold on the line, until the coronavirus pandemic put the kibosh on those plans. With a couple of titles already around his waist, however (UCMMA/ECMMA titles), now is as good a time as any to get to know Keane.

First of all, how did you get into MMA?
My dad got me doing some pad work to help with my fitness for football. At the time I was in an academy he had a slight hope I’d start boxing as well as pursue my football career. My cousin, Will started MMA and invited me down to his gym. I completely fell in love with the sport straight away and ended up knocking football on the head. I didn’t start boxing and told my dad I was going to be an MMA fighter and luckily he was very supportive 😂.

Do you have any background in any other sports? If so, explain?
Yes Football academy level  and always competed for my school in rugby football and athletics.

What do you do for work or would MMA be your full-time job? 
I do part time work for my dad but train the rest of the time. He’s very supportive in my career

Who are you currently training with and who are some of your main sparring partners?
I train down Team Underground with the likes of Will Drewitt, my cousin ranked number five in the UK, Jahreau Shepherd, Rico Biggs, David and Chloe Cooke, Amir Shanelle Dyer and many more. I also occasionally get the great John Haggerty to join in the MMA class, he’s a savage! It’s all run by the captain of the ship Steve Cooke and he gets all the top prospects and killers down.

What is the reason behind your nickname “Humble”?
I have always been very respectful to coaches, training partners, and opponents. I’ve never trash talked and disrespected anyone I’ve been in there with. I’ve had late pullouts sometimes on the day and even some opponents trash talk me and my family but I remain calm and focused. I respect everyone who steps in the cage and is involved in this amazing sport. I always say no matter what I will let my performance do the talking. The actual name “Humble” Harry was given to me by the great Dave O’Donnell he started it for me and it stuck with everyone 😊

List of accomplishments such as titles, belt ranks, etc…?
Currently ranked 13th in the UK and Ireland hoping to break top ten after this win. Amateur K1 champion twice, Amateur MMA champion twice, pro UCMMA flyweight champion, and ECMMA flyweight champion.

What are your favorite striking and grappling techniques?
My favourite striking techniques are boxing, lots of feints mixed in with kicks to set up takedowns. I have my cousin, Archie Sharp highly ranked with the WBO and closing in on a world title so watching him helps me a lot. My dad was also a very good amateur boxer so I love picking up new boxing combinations. Grappling I love heel hooks and a variety of subs taught to me by Steve Cooke. Wrestling techniques I have learnt so many from Dean Bray who was at Titan for ten years. Being the smallest in every gym I’ve really had installed that wrestling grind philosophy in me. I love double legs high and crotches. I’m a true martial artist at heart and believe you are akways learning.

You’re set to fght Steffan Olegon coming up. He has no prior MMA experience so how hard is it to prepare for someone who has zero footage? 
At first I thought I’d find it hard because I study footage religiously but with the team I have I see so many different styles I feel ready for any style he brings. I was set to fight a boy with a good boxing pedigree but he pulled out last minute  I’ve heard my next opponent is a Swedish and he’s from a K1 background with so many K1 champions. We have in our gym guys like David Cooke, Shanelle Dyer, Chloe Cooke, and having both the great John Haggertys there. The list goes on of people I can train with or turn to for stand up advice. I’ll never be without quality stand up training at the great Team Underground. I’m also confident if he is exceptional on the feet I can take it to the ground and control him and finish him with ground and pound or find a submission.

You have one career loss in your career. What did you learn from that fight and how did it change you? 
It changed me so much. It was a fight I was winning and I learned anything can happen in this game to never take your foot off the gas and to always finish your opponent. If you have the chance also never take a fight if you’re not one hundred percent but I make no excuses he was the better man on that night. That is a fight I will certainly look to get back this year. We have become friends who have mutual respect for one another in the great words of Mikel Kessler “we will be friends before and after but no friends in the battle”.

You’re still so young in your career so where do you see yourself in three years from now?
I really see my self on a big show like ONE Championship. I love everything they stand for in martial arts and it is full of the best fighters in the world. I hope to be pushing on to become a world champion. With such good people behind me and a strong team I feel we can go all the way and that is why I got into this sport because I love it and to become a world champion

If you weren’t fighting today where would you be?
I would be working with my dad hoping to become a success like him my dad has worked very hard with his family run business for thirty years and then put money into property he never stops it’s admirable to say the least and the work ethic he’s installed in me has certainly helped my career he is the man I look up to so I’d certainly be learning under him in business he’s the first person I go to for advice If I achieve half as much as he has I’ll be a happy man.

Q&A

Favorite movie?

Roadhouse. If you haven’t seen it trust me go watch.

Favorite TV show?

Peaky Blinders. Can’t get enough.

Favorite wrestler growing up?

Triple H. I tried all the moves on my cousin Will. He’s bigger than me now and the fifth ranked featherweight so I can’t anymore. I’d always practice the pedigree on my little brother poor kid 😂

Favorite cheat meal?

It’s gotta be pizza.

Skittles or M&M’s?

M&MS for sure 

Favorite workout?

Circuits. I feel that continuous training really replicates a fight.

Favorite game growing up?

Bulldog. Some good memories. 

What’s a goal you have?

To make my parents proud.

Secret/Unknown talent?

I’m a really good singer. I’ve been called the song bird of my generation, that’s a step brothers quote but yeah after a win I do have a sing with the family and team back at the house 😂

Least favorite fighter?

Bob Sapp and no words needed.

Sh*t talker or Sweet talker?

Sweet talker. Me trying to trash talk would be hard to watch 😂

Favorite sports and sports team?

I mainly watch MMA but also I like a bit of football. My Favourite sports team is Manchester United and it can be hard being a united fan lately 😂

Favorite current and past MMA fighter?

My favourite current MMA fighter is Khabib, what he has done is extraordinary. And past MMA fighter would have to be GSP, the man’s an all time great whose resume speaks for itself.

Ferguson or Khabib?

For me it’s gotta be Khabib I could never go against a man that dominant but I do feel it’ll be the hardest fight if his career and well finally see him in some adversity because let’s face it up to now there’s been barely any.

What’s a fear you have?

To not fulfill my potential and not get what I want out of life

Pet peeve?

People who don’t  know the difference between cagefighting, MMA and who shout ‘hit him’ 😂

Boldest MMA prediction?

MMA will one day be as big as boxing in the UK.

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