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· On The Spot ~ Walt Harris

· Article author: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Posted on 01/31 at 11:43 PM

Walt “Big Ticket” Harris is a heavyweight from Birmingham, Alabama. After a successful amateur career Harris was due to make a splash in his professional debut fighting at the January 22 WEF 45 event. However, due to a last minute injury to his opponent Chris Barnett that fight has been put on hold until March 5.

Once Harris debuts professionally he immediately walks in as one of the most athletic big men competing today. Harris played basketball collegiately as a freshman at Jacksonville State University, even being invited to several tryouts with NBA teams. However, Harris’ competitive passions instead led him to combat sports.

After a brief period as an amateur fighter, one that saw him rack up an impressive 23-1 between boxing and mixed martial arts, Harris had promoters and organizations salivating for an opportunity to get the 6’4”, 240-pound on a card. He eventually decided on stepping in with fast rising slugger Chris Barnett. A victory over Barnett in his debut would have sent a loud and clear message to the rest of the heavyweight world.

Unfortunately, that bout will have to wait. In the meantime, MMA Spot’s Chris Dennison caught up with the soon-to-be-superstar at what would have been his debut event to talk about the cancellation and how he came to the decision to fight for a living.

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Chris Dennison: Do you believe the official statement concerning the injury to Chris Barnett?
Walt Harris: To be honest, as a man, if I’m injured and I have an injured leg, I’m gonna sit down. I am not gonna be standing on my feet for hours before a fight. But legit or not, he has to see me March fifth. So, it doesn’t matter.

CD: We have heard that he injured himself walking on a treadmill.
WH: I don’t know. And I don’t want to say it’s not true and call him a liar, but what are you doing on a treadmill the day before the fight?

CD: What were you doing before you decided to fight.
WH: I played college basketball. My dream was to play in the NBA. I tried to pick up with a bunch of teams. But that obviously wasn’t my calling. This is my calling. God got me into this sport. I’ve had a lot of success in the amateurs. So, I feel like I’m walking in my calling right now.

CD: What was your amateur record like?
WH: Boxing and MMA together, I was 23-1.

CD: What happened in the one loss?
WH: It was only my third fight. It was a title fight against a pretty experienced guy. He had like twelve fights, I think. The guy is actually fighting in the XFC right now. He caught me with a hook. I learned not to just charge in. I learned I need to put something in a guy’s face before I come in.

CD: Was that a boxing or MMA bout?
WH: MMA.

CD: Of all of the amateur fights you’ve won, how have most of them ended?
WH: Most have ended by knockout. I’m the kind of guy that is always looking to finish.

CD: How long had you trained for this fight? When did you find out it was canceled?
WH: I trained for two months. I only found out yesterday at the weigh-ins. I’m just ready to get this first “W” out of the way. It’s all got to start somewhere.

CD: Were you compensated for everything surrounding this event?
WH: Yeah. Jamie [Levine] took care of me. I’ve been compensated, and I’m looking forward to coming back and fighting in March. This is a great promotion and atmosphere.

CD: The fight was supposed to happen on your anniversary. What did your wife think when you told her you wanted to start fighting?
WH: To this day she doesn’t like it. She freaked out. She was like, 'If that’s what you want to do go for it. I’m all for it.' But you know how that is. She still has the butterflies in her stomach. She can’t take it.

CD: Do you have any sponsors or people that you would like to thank for supporting you?
WH: I want to thank Martial Arts Life, Combat Corner, Champions Freestyle Fitness, my coach John Dye, my coach Al Price, all my training partners, and Gamma-O.


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