Saturday, March 17, 2012

Harris Calls Latest Win “Great Learning Opportunity”, “Open” to Middleweight Title Shot

Hayabusa’s Luke Harris continued his ascension up Canada’s middleweight rankings at King of the Cage Canada’s recent “Infamy” card in Edmonton, by tapping out veteran Brandon MacArthur with a first round, armbar. With the win, not only has Harris gone undefeated in nine straight bouts, all eight of the victories during that stretch have come in the first round. 

“Well, I ended up throwing Brandon with Harai-goshi (judo technique) and eventually transitioned to mount,” said Harris while recalling the March 9th bout’s final moments. “Brandon regained halfguard and I looked to strike and set up a Kimura, which I was able to get. He straightened out his arm to defend the Kimura, which put me in a position to secure a straight arm lock, where he was forced to tap.”

Despte securing another first round victory,  the 34 year-old fighter wasn’t completely satisfied with his performance.

“I’m always a bit critical of my own performance,” Harris conceded. “Some of my game-plan played out perfectly and some aspects need work for sure, but a fight is a fight and you just have to do the best you can wherever the fight goes.”

“It was a great learning opportunity,” the former Canadian National Judo Team member added. “I can't say I was surprised by Brandon. I know he's always a game opponent who always comes to fight. Although I eventually got the submission, I was very impressed with his submission defense and escapes on the ground. Multiple times in the fight he forced me to scramble to regain position.”

Infamy’s main event featured a teammate of Harris , as Hayabusa’s Mike Froese challenged KOTC Canadian Middleweight Champion Elmer Waterhen for his belt. In the end, however, the champ forced Froese to tap with a late, first round, rear-naked-choke.

“I didn't see the full fight as I was doing my post-fight medical, but what I did see, Froese looked good,” Harris said. “Both Mike and Elmer are very tough guys and I knew they would put on a show for the fans. Although Mike lost, I’m proud of him for his performance. He put in a lot of work leading up to this fight and he's a great role model for our fighters at the Hayabusa Training Centre.”

The March 9th win marked the first time since 2008 that Harris has fought for KOTC Canada, where he has reigned before as the Canadian middleweight champ.

“I'm not sure what’s next but I'm open to that match-up,” said Harris, when asked if he was interested in facing Waterhen for the middleweight belt. “Elmer is a seasoned veteran with close to 30 fights and isn’t an easy fight for anyone. If fans want to see that fight, I'm sure Ken (Kupsch) will make it happen.”