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Andre Harrison Exclusive Interview

Harrison looks to stay undefeated 

(Long Island, NY., November 15, 2016) – It’s not every day you can say you’re perfect in your profession, but that is exactly what Andre Harrison can say. At 14-0 in his MMA career, the current Titan FC featherweight champion is taking his talents back to where it all started, the Ring of Combat, for a “Super Fight” at 150 pounds against Julian Lane at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City on November 18.

Born and raised on Long Island, where he attended Freeport High School, Harrison is a rising star who is on the brink of becoming a household name.

A veteran of the sport, but only 28 years old, Harrison has big plans for his mixed martial arts career, but for now, a fight closer to home, for family and friends to finally get an opportunity to watch him fight, is next up on the featherweight’s journey.

With a wrestling background, Harrison, also known as “Dre the Bull” attended Nassau Community College and then transferred to Fort Hays State University in Kansas. That is where his MMA career began.

“When I was in college, one of my teammates on the wresting team, J.T. Hudson, he actually held the featherweight title as an amateur in Colorado and he didn’t have any training partners during the wresting season,” said Harrison. “He asked me if I would help him train. We would jump in, spar once in a while and I got hooked from sparring. He said I should take a fight, and by the time the fight came around, I was hooked. One of my best friends used to always say, you’ll probably end up doing that MMA stuff that they got going on, I said ‘that’s not for me’, but he was right.”

Harrison, who works full-time and trains out of Bellmore Kickboxing Academy, has a pretty busy day. Working and training year-round isn’t easy, but Harrison seems to embrace it. A typical day for him, isn’t a typical day for most.

“Usually, I’ll start off with some cardio early in the morning to get the body going and then teach women’s kickboxing and then I have either striking or grappling,” said Harrison. "Then later on in the afternoon I will switch it up, either striking or grappling, then I’ll teach class one more time and then I’ll cap off the night, get some food.”

The undefeated fighter trains with some other great Long Island fighters and it is definitely is advantageous to work with accomplished and decorated teammates. 

“It definitely motivates me, keeps me hungry, seeing these guys capture these W’s, and go out there and dominant their opponents,” said Harrison. “My friend Randy Brown has a fight coming on December 9 (UFC Albany). A bunch of people over there are great. I’ve been doing a lot of sparring lately with Chris Algieri, who was a world champion boxer, he’s been helping alot for this fight camp, we have a lot of top athletes in this gym, period.”

Harrison, who was a perfect 7-0 in the Titan FC organization leaves with an unblemished and flawless record and with a lot of fond memories as he continues his path in MMA.

“The person who I shared the cage with to capture the title was Kurt Holobaugh, who to this day was one of toughest dudes I’ve ever fought, he had no quit in him whatsoever, and he had a great gas tank,” Harrison said. “Actually Kurt and I talk to this day, he is just an overall good dude. Just people like him, being in there, racking up W’s against Cody Bollinger, Seven Siler, even my last opponent, “Popo” ( Alexandre Bezerra), that was a one hell of a fight. Just getting in there, testing yourself over and over again. It was a pleasure and definitely was great experiencing and great fighting five, five-minute rounds, that was also something some people don’t get to experience, so I’m grateful.”

His last fight, looking to defend his featherweight belt for the fourth time against Alexandre Bezerra was another victory. On September 9, HarrIson defeated “Popo” by unanimous decision to defend his gold once again. 

“The thing about it too, I’m a fight fan as well, I don’t just go into training, I actually enjoy watching other fights and everything. Fighting “Popo”, who fought one of my friends and casual training partners, Levan Makashvili, as they fought twice and they split was great,” Harrison recalls. “Also watching him fight Marlon Sandro, where he lost a razor sharp decision, where I thought he could have won. He has a dangerous ground game, great stand up, great cardio, and his jiu jitsu is sick. That was a fight where I tell people I don’t quit and I’m tough and you actually saw it because in the fourth round I was in all types of trouble. I was in arm bars, triangles, just everything, every submission you can name and somehow I got out of there. In the fifth round, knowing I had to win that round to win the fight, at least I thought so, so I went out there and put it on all the line.”

With only two months between fights, it can’t be easy for a fighter to regroup so fast, but Harrison sure makes it sound and look easy.

“I’m an active guy, I came up with wresting, you make weight, and you competed twice a week.” said Harrison. “So for me doing it every other month or every two months is nothing, so it’s a walk in the park. After the fight, unless I have something hurting me, I am right back in there. I go back in the gym, and start training again.”

Harrison is going back to where it all started, the Ring of Combat, where he is already 7-0 in their organization. He made his professional debut on November 18 on the ROC 38 card in 2011, defeating Alex Davydov via unanimous decision, exactly five years to the day he will return to the organization he once dominated.

“The Ring of Combat was great,” Harrison recalls. “I had to fight a lot of tough guys, a lot of tough guys on there have fought on Bellator, fought on the "Ultimate Fighter Show", fought guys who were champions in other organizations. Because of that, it gives you a sense of confidence when you fight people elsewhere. The ROC put on some tough fights and I appreciate that.”

At 14-0, all fans are wondering the same thing. Why go back to an organization you have completely dominated already? Harrison gave a simple answer.

“No real mindset, just want to fight closer to home, give some of my home town family and friends the opportunity to watch me fight,” Harrison said. “Like my mother, she can’t watch me fight elsewhere like Washington or Florida. Atlantic City is only three hours away, an easy drive.”

As he makes his drive exactly five years to the day he made his profession debut, he will be taking on Julian Lane (11-6) in what is being called a “Super Fight”. Lane, 29, has won two-in-a-row, both by submissions, (guillotine chokes) is a very formable opponent.

“Julian is a big tough guy,” Harrison said. “He is very strong, has a solid guillotine and he comes ready to fight. It should be a good entertaining fight, I am excited for it.”

Especially with the fight being called a “Super Fight” we can’t blame him, but what exactly is a “Super Fight” to “Dre the Bull"? 

“For me, my personal definition is you have a champion at 145 pounds and champion at 155 pounds, and you meet at 150 and that’s a “Super Fight”," Harrison said. “We are going to fight at 150.”

With an undefeated record there are still goals for Harrison. While he set on this one fight coming up, he knows the big picture.

“I want to be a world champion,” Harrison said. “Any of the bigger other organizations, and be known as the best in the world, or at the very least one of the best in world.”

As for the casual fan who doesn’t know much about Harrison, “Dre” says this.

“I’m gritty. You’re going to see things everywhere,” Harrison said. “You’re going to see me on my feet, see me grappling on the mat, you’re going to see excitement everywhere, one of the things people know about me is my really good cardio. You can expect an action packed high paced fight from me.”

Being a native of Long Island, Harrison is no different than anyone else who is extremely excited for the legalization of MMA in New York. 

“It’s definitely a great thing,” Harrison said. “When you mentioned MMA in New York, I thought, ‘it was about time’. It took a lot of time, you have a lot of top fighters in New York and they should be allowed to fight in front of family and friends.”

On November 18, Harrison will step back into the Octagon where it all began. While he is 14-0 and has big things on his mind, Harrison is as humble as anyone could be. Long Island is lucky to have a fighter, soon to be a household name, fight out of his home town. It is truly looking up for Long Island.

To watch the Harrison video in its eternity, please CLICK HERE.

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Photo credit: Sherdog