Along comes Jared Gooden, and just like that, Harris’ opportunity to fight this weekend was back. Unfortunately, Gooden was unable to gain weight, but the silver lining is that Harris receives 30% of Gooden’s fight purse.
Full breakdown of Saturday’s fight cards
At this point, nothing was going to stop Harris from fighting on Saturday.
“I have a new opponent and it’s good because in my gym we work on everything and prepare surprises because it happens,” Harris said. “There could be injuries or people could pull out for whatever reason. They offered me an opponent and I didn’t refuse any. I am here to work.
“Anyone they put before me, I will face.”
Harris’ time away from the Octagon isn’t his only motivation to compete. Just over a month ago, Harris became a father, which changed his outlook on time management and gave him a new sense of responsibility.
“During my camp I went through a lot. I have a newborn baby and I had to be in the hospital to support him during training,” Harris said. “You change. You become more responsible. You don’t do before you think, you think before you do. The paternal feeling is on a different level, a different feeling.
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Harris is also looking to recapture that feeling of victory after suffering a loss to Shavkat Rakhmonov on his last trip to the Octagon. The loss taught Harris some lessons and inspired him to focus on his boxing ahead of his next fight.
Harris watched Gooden’s fights against Randy Brown and Alan Jouban and came away with the conclusion that his boxing adjustments can really shine in this matchup. He focuses on his composition and exploiting his shots. If he can do that, he’s confident he’ll leave UFC APEX with an impressive result.
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“After my last fight, I went back to the gym and went to work on my boxing. I will show that my boxing has improved. I will kill, man. I want to take his head off,” Harris said. “I have a card up my sleeve for him.”