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UFC shows Gerald Harris the door

When a fighter drops a handful of contests inside the Octagon, especially in a consecutive manner, fans often have an easy time understanding why the UFC may choose to part ways with said individual. However, when a Mixed Martial Artist goes 3-1 under the promotion’s bright lights and racks up a few performance-based bonuses in the process, it’s far more difficult to grasp why he would be let go after a single stumble in the ring.

Such a situation arose late Tuesday when middleweight Gerald Harris confirmed via Twitter he had been released after losing a unanimous decision to 26-3 Maiquel Jose Falcao at UFC 123 this past weekend. The victory was Falcao’s eighth in a row.

Harris, who was coming off a knockout slam at UFC 116 featured on SportsCenter’s “Top 10” plays of the involved weekend, is 17-3 overall and entered the cage against Falcao on a ten-fight win streak. However, the bout was unfortunately marred by a shortened-clock in the opening frame likely saving Harris from tapping out to a choke, as well as featured a less-than aesthetically pleasing final frame.

Whether “Hurricane” would have retained his employment had he been submitted in the first round, or the exact reason his newfound free-agency came about, are questions that may be answered in the coming days but one thing seems certain at this moment in time – any MMA organization seeking a talented 185-pounder with fifteen finishes in seventeen total wins is likely licking their chops rather than wondering how or why.

  • redwire says:

    Wow. Did *not* see that one coming…

  • cere says:

    Falcao is saying Gerald shadow tapped 3 times during their fight but hit it from the ref so that Falcao would release and the fight would continue. Falcao didn’t release (though the 1st round obviously ended early and prevented a stoppage). Maybe White saw the video and saw that Gerald was shadow tapping and released him for that.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Not a fan of this move… if he was a stick in the mud the previous fights i would understand but that wasn’t the case… DW and Co. just wanted to make an example. With all the other BS surrounding this match you think they would just want to keep it out of the headlines and keep it moving…

  • MCM says:

    I agree that DW is using Harris and an example. Dana has seemed really pissed with all the “play it safe” fights (and fighters) in the UFC recently. I think what he’s saying with the Harris cut is come to fight or go somewhere else. With dozens of new fighters coming in on the UFC’s roster, they can’t afford to give 3 strikes if you’re not bringing it every round. Now it’s one and done if you don’t leave it all in the ring. Hopefully this leads to more exciting fights.

    (take note Greg Jackson.)

  • Makington says:

    I would have liked to see Harris stick around for a little while longer but I definitely see some valid reasons why Dana let him go.

    1. It truly will send a message. If I’m Nik Lentz and I just had the 2 most boring wins anyone has ever seen, and then I see Gerald Harris who had highlight reel KO’s, I know without a doubt I’m fucked if I don’t go out and put on the best performance of my life.

    2. Harris really did need a setback to put him back on straight. I thought, like most, that he would dominate another UFC newcomer and probably get a quick TKO. However, as soon as the fight started I immediately switched my pick to Falcao winning purely based on Harris’ kind of persona. He was hanging that ridiculous stance way too loose and kind of swaggering around the ring, which to me totally meant he was really settling into his hype after that pretty devastating KO of Dave Branch. It was also quite obviously the worst shape he’s ever come into the ring in, being gassed by the first rounds end. You need these losses to get that fire back in the gym.

    3. Also, as Falcao showed also, Harris will likely never be much more than a gatekeeper. Sure, he can make quick, usually exciting work of UFC newcomers, ie. the people with the absolute worst rankings, and therefor statistically the worst fighters. What if it were Damien Maia who had his back, does anyone really think he’d be able to get out of that one?

    So even though I am still a fan of Harris, and I hope the UFC will resign him after he comes back with a few good wins, I still see why Dana did it. By cutting one of his cheaper, exciting fighters after such an embarrassing loss he’s really enforcing the fact that you are fighting for your job every single time out there so fighters should really put it on the line more.

  • JabCrossHook says:

    The reason my pick was Felcao is because Gerald Harris is an athlete first, not a fighter. Falcao came from Chute Boxe, and had close to 30 fights experience stepping in to face harris. I had a feeling Harris wasn’t mentally strong enough and didn’t have the tools to win. He’s a good wrestler who’s pretty strong but what can he do when someone stuffs his TDs consistently? Nothing, just shows you how limited he is. He didn’t even shake Falcao’s hand and even motioned for Falcao to bring it to him in round 3. He was losing the fight, it was his job to bring the fight to Falcao, but he didn’t want to get KTFO.

  • Guthookd says:

    Gerald Harris vs. Hector Lombard. Make that shit happen Bjorn!!! Do it.

    LOL that I was just reading a story about this yesterday and he was relieved to know that he wasn’t cut and that he’d have another change to show his skills in the UFC. Too soon to relax I guess.

    That fight was shit, it’s true. But cut for being timid while facing Falcao? That’s a little harsh. If you look up some of Falcao’s fights he’s a fucking beast, he just happened to look like shit last weekend.

  • stone says:

    I would’ve kept Harris around for at least 1 more fight… C’mon Dana White, just the ESPN highlight alone should’ve given him a 2nd chance! Greg Jackson campers (minus Condit, Diego & a few others) have borring fights all the time! How about you (Dana) stop kissin their asses and fire a few of them!

  • drstu says:

    could this just be a matter of a fighter having a 4 fight deal and then both sides not being able to agree to a new contract?

  • You cant fire champions(GSP) and up until recently Rashad was finishin & still has two of the greatest KOs of all time on his record (Sean Salmon and my favorite KO of all time in Chuck Liddel)
    Personally I think this was dumb but in the end they dropped someone only us hardcore fans will care about whereas the casual person is only goin to remember Harris for his last awful fight. I can see why Dana was pissed, rather than risk getting finished the guy gave up and hoped the judges would just forget the first two rounds. How dumb is that? Its one thing to lose, its another to give up mid fight and stop fighting.

  • Jak says:

    It’s perfectly understandable.

    You have to save spots on each card for “top MMA” fighters, like UFC 125’s Phil Baroni, UFC 122’s Peter Sabotta, Fight for the troops main card fighter Tim Hague, Gabe Ruediger and so on…


  • TerribleT says:

    Falcao should’ve been cut too for his lackluster effort in the 3rd rd vs Harris. I think the crowd is still booing his ass as I type this.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I think the blame for the 3rd being so bad is entirely Harris’s fault. If you are behind on the score cards, as he so obviously was, do something about it. I can not stand fighters who do nothing to improve their situation, it makes me think “why?” and then I can’t help but ponder motives. I mean why, if you know you are behind on the cards, would you not go for broke trying to finish?.
    Why was rd 1 about 6-7 secs short? I don’t buy it. How often does this happen? The fact that he was on the verge of tapping or going to sleep and the bell just happens to go off early? This stinks of corruption. I can’t understand why more is not being said about this.
    Please can somebody tell me if this is something that is common or if I have this wrong or if there is a good reason for this …um … mistake. Some people are saying that the TV time is not official OK fine but do the 10 sec warning dudes, whoever that may be, also go off TV time because approx 2-3 sec after the 10 sec warning the horn goes and if they are not in sync by 7 secs in an uninterrupted rd it is still cause for concern.

  • elkymbo says:

    Does this mean that if Jon Fitch loses his next fight he’ll be fired??? That’d be awesome. He’s a sleeping pill.

  • MCM says:

    LOGIC –
    There is quite a bit being said about the time issue on other sites and the UFC has asked for an investigation into the matter. I don’t think it’s corruption, more like a mistake. Be assured there are several organizations looking into it.


    In all honesty-something drastic had to be done to try to put an end to all of these boring fights happening because of “play it safe” game planning-I think all of the B.S. could be avoided by simply putting into effect a “yellow card” type system-I still look at a lot of the PRIDE events as the glory days of MMA


    Anyways-It should never add up beyond-You can’t stop the hustle!!!!!!!

  • elkymbo says:

    Agreed Gike, the Pride days were definitely the golden years and while we’re at it bring back the heal stomps to the head as well.


    Heal stomps are necessary to say the least-better than having wrestlers hump their way to victory(Maynard-Fitch-GSP-Shields-and so on


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