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Gerald Harris: “They didn’t make an example out of me. They set the standard for fighters.”

Rarely in recent history has there been as much public outcry on behalf of a released fighter than in the case of Gerald Harris being cut by the UFC after compiling a 3-1 record in the Octagon and a knockout worthy of making the SportsCenter news-cycle. However, one of the individuals you won’t hear complaining about the organization’s decision is Harris himself.

“I don’t feel sorry for myself in a sense of being cut. I’m more disappointed with my performance than anything. That’s what hurts me the most,” said the 17-3 middleweight in a conversation with MMAJunkie.

“I don’t want to use the words ‘reality check’ or ‘wake-up call,’ but they didn’t make an example out of me. They set the standard for fighters. They’ve made it clear that they’re not going to accept that type of performance. I don’t care who you are; they don’t accept that kind of performance on the big stage,” he continued in addition to saying he had “no excuses”.

As far as the lackluster third round many felt contributed to Harris’ demise from the Zuffa payroll, “Hurricane” said the period was a “blur” after having been rocked earlier in the fight.

“The only thing I remember about the third round is in the last 10 seconds, he started going nuts like he was about to do something,” he elaborated on the frame in question.

While he still hopes to return to the UFC in the future, Harris hasn’t lost sight of the silver-lining at hand in terms of his semi-controversial release.

“I know what I have to do. I promise you this: The next time you see me fight, you’re going to see a different person. I consider being cut a negative thing, but I’m going to try and make it a positive. This can give me an opportunity to fight in my hometown. This can give me the opportunity to make the changes I need to become a champion.”

Harris is 10-1 in his last eleven fights, including seven consecutive TKOs/submissions prior to his loss to Maiquel Falcao at UFC 123, and has finished fifteen of the seventeen opponents he’s beaten.

  • Dufresne says:

    Love the attitude, still hate that he was cut.

  • cere says:

    If this trend continues, Dana will be doing the sport a disservice. If it is a sport, then it is about winning, even if it is boring. Dana instead wants fighters who are exciting, whether the win or lose. So, Harris, with a winning record of 3-1 in the octagon gets the boot for one boring loss, while fighters that are exciting, but on a losing streak are kept. That isn’t a sport. That is entertainment. I love the entertainment aspect of MMA, but if we want it to grow as a sport, then the premiere promotion needs to suck it up and treat it like a sport and stop complaining about boring fighters and especially not cut winning fighters for being boring, especially if they only do it once.

  • redwire says:

    Cere – You’re not wrong, but I think there needs to be a balance, otherwise the UFC will be left with boring ‘safe’ fighters that nobody wants to watch. Everybody would fight like Fitch, casual fans would tune out, and the UFC would end up holding events in half-empty arenas. Plus, your take on it would have resulted in Wanderlei being cut long ago, and dammit, that’s just not right 😉

    The exciting fighters sell the PPVs and draw the fans in, which results in everybody getting paid.

    I was surprised that Harris was cut, and I’m also surprised at how ‘OK’ he is with the decision. It’s just a weird situation all around. I expect he’ll get a win in a smaller org, and be right back in the Octagon in under 6 months.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Its Strictly Business…

  • Rich S. says:

    So, if this is true, does it mean title contenders like Fitch and Maynard (who are widely considered to be boring) are one loss away from getting cut?

    If Harris was cut solely for a boring fight, we better get ready for a huge influx in firings. But, it just seems weird to me that Dana would, out of nowhere, decide to start cutting fighters for boring fights, starting with a fighter whose previous three were brutal finishes.

    Can you blame me for thinking there’s more to this than one bad fight?

  • G-DUB says:

    We’re all looking to attribute some sound logic to this bad decision, but I don’t think we’ll find any simply because of the decision maker. DW is an emotional excitable BMOC who often seems to lead with his heart over his head. Harris should be applauded for even answering the bell in the 3rd round after the way he was torn apart in the 2nd. I believe him when he said he doesn’t remember the 3rd …. he was practically asleep just a minute earlier. Besides, if DW doesn’t want boring fighters in his organization, how do you rationalize the decision to bring in Mr. Ambien himself, Antonio McKee, into the UFC?

  • I think everyone has totally missed the point of why Dan fired Gerald Harris. He didnt fire him because he was “boring” (otherwise Fitch and Evans would’ve been fired a long time ago) He fired him because he didnt come to fight in the third round.
    I disagree entirely G-Dub, if he knew he was unable to fight in the third it shows no grit answering the bell and doing nothing but faking jabs for 4 and a half minutes. Had he come out and actually tried to win the fight or had he even said he was unable to continue he’d still have a job today. instead he chose to go out there and throw the fight for what? the chance to be on camera for five more minutes? Call alot of these lay and prayers boring but at least they do what it takes to continue making an effort to win the fight.

    Personally as much as it sucks…its a good call as I dont remember anyone just blatantly quitting like that.

  • oh and why Dana fired harris…not Dan.

  • MCM says:

    Maybe there is more too it Rich S. or maybe Harris was just the straw that broke the camels back. Dana has been bitching for awhile about boring fights and fighters just like the rest of us have. It was only a week (7 days) earlier that we all had to sit through the snooze fest of Okami/Marquardt and Dana even went so far as to actually call out G.J. afterwords and say that his whole camp was getting boring.
    I’m just guessing here, but he seemed so pissed, I could easily see Dana telling each fighter in the locker room to leave it all in the cage or don’t come back.
    I too think this was a bad move, but I see Harris getting called back faster than Karo. So I’m not too concerned about it.

  • MCM says:

    Did you have a good B-day superdavenorcal? :)

  • Sumoninja says:

    How hard is this to figure out? The UFC recently absorbed the WEC, so there is a huge influx fast, flashy, exciting fighters to cram onto the normal cards. Dana has FOREVER said he wants exciting fights. Any fighter that doesn’t realize the UFC is looking for an excuse to cut some folks these days, and that boring guys will be first to go is an idiot. Kudos to Gerald for manning up and making a positive out of getting cut.
    As for growing the sport, I think it must be a balance. It’s in the sports best interest that the fights be exciting, but there’s a fine line to walk between keeping exciting losers and cutting boring winners. Personally I think the UFC is doing a decent job of walking it…as evidenced by the continued growth of the sport.

  • Outstanding MCM thanks for askin!

  • AR15 says:

    One Question, how in the hell are you gonna cut Gerald Harris & keep a pussy like Gabe “Fatboy” Ruediger???


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