After fighting twice in 2010 and just once in 2011, rising middleweight Luke Harris is focused on getting in the cage as much as possible in 2012. Case in point, after tapping out Elliot Duff with a first round, rear-naked-choke just a few weeks ago, Harris will be back hunting for his eighth pro win this Friday night.
“Basically I’m making a run at it,” said Harris (7-1), who will battle veteran Brandon MacArthur at King of the Cage Canada’s March 9th “Infamy” card in Edmonton. “I had some injuries in the past and had some trouble finding opponents, and now I have a new manager who is keeping me busy. I just want to get in as many fights as I can.”
Since losing his MMA debut in 2007, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt and former Canadian National Judo Team member has gone undefeated, to establish Harris as one of the nation’s top middleweight prospects.
“That’s one of the reasons,” Harris said, when asked if he believes his extensive martial arts’ resume has made it more difficult for him to find opponents. “Also, being at the Hayabusa Training Centre, where we’ve produced three UFC level guys now, and hopefully more soon, that doesn’t help in getting opponents either.”
Anyone who is familiar with the career of MacArthur, however, shouldn’t be surprised that he has agreed to take on Harris. Throughout his near, five year long career, the British Columbia fighter has faced UFC vets like Mitch Clarke, John Makdessi and Jesse Bongfeldt, and holds victories over established fighters like Ryan Chiappe and Dan Chambers.
“Although he may not have a great record he’s fought a lot of top level fighters,” Harris noted about MacArthur (6-18). “His last fight he lost to Jesse Bongfeldt, who just came out of the UFC, and I know he dropped Jesse. He’s a dangerous striker so I’m definitely doing my homework on this guy and not taking him lightly.”
“I’ve seen a little bit of his stuff,” added Harris, who has finished all of his victories within the first round. “I know he’s quite talented with spin kicks and Superman punches, so those are some of the things to look out for.”
The former KOTC Canada middleweight champ will be returning to the promotion for the first time since September, 2008, when Harris submitted Nolan Clark at the promotion’s “Refined” event. To date, the Hayabusa founder has won all three of his KOTC appearances by first round submission, a record which also includes victories over Steve Fader and the aforementioned Chambers.
“Ken’s always been a great guy,” said Harris, while discussing fighting for KOTC Canada and promoter Ken Kupsch again. “I love King of the Cage and he’s always been a good guy in giving opportunities. For me, it doesn’t really matter who I fight for, as long as there’s good people and it’s a good organization. Ken’s a hardworking, honest guy, so it’s awesome.”
If Harris is able to get by MacArthur, it will be interesting to see if the 34 year-old fighter will eventually follow the footsteps of training partners Ryan Jimmo and Mitch Clarke into the Octagon.
“Fighting in the UFC is definitely one of my goals,” Harris acknowledged. “How many fights I need to get there? I’m not sure of that. Joe Silva is a very smart guy and he takes guys when they’re ready. So, I’m just going to keep fighting, hopefully keep getting wins, and I’ll get noticed.”
Friday’s “Infamy” card will be hosted by Edmonton’s Mirage Banquet Hall, and will also feature a middleweight bout between Canadian champion Elmer Waterhen and challenger Mike Froese.