Titan FC Featherweight champion Andre Harrison (11-0) comes from a long line of talented mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters who hail from New York. But, "The Bull" is looking to separate himself from the pack as he continues to rise up the 145-pound ranks.
Harrison, who's a product of Bellmore Kickboxing in Long Island, meets Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran Steven Siler (28-14) in the co-main event of Titan FC 37, which takes place live and exclusively on Fight Pass this Friday night (March 4, 2016) in Ridgefield, Washington. A winner of 11 in-a-row, Harrison has been campaigning for his UFC shot over the last several months.
Having trained with the likes of UFC competitors like Dennis Bermudez, Gian Villante and Ryan LaFlare -- not to mention boxing standout Chris Algieri -- Harrison knows it's only a matter of time until he finds himself competing in the Octagon.
"Chris Wade, I spar with him very often and helped him get ready for his last fight. These are all guys who are there and doing well. These are guys I roll with on a regular basis and I roll well with them. I know I'm ready, I'm not speaking on wishful thinking," Harrison told MMAmania.
The All-American wrestler from Nassau Community College is pushed to the limit daily by the likes of Bermudez and Wade. Harrison has tried to take a certain aspect from each of his training partners' arsenals and incorporate it into his own fight style.
He credits Algieri for improving his stand-up, which looked as good as ever in his first title defense against Desmond Green at Titan FC 35 in Sept. 2015. Not only was he competing for the second time in as many months, but he was also facing his toughest test yet.
Green, a Bellator veteran, is 15-5 overall with four of those wins coming by knockout. While Harrison got the nod via unanimous decision, bringing his overall record to 11-0, he was a little peeved at himself for not capitalizing on a key moment early in his tilt with "The Predator."
"I really wanted to go out there and get a finish, but you just have to try and learn from it and build," Harrison said. "I looked back and saw some positions where I could've definitely ... for example, that first overhand right I hit him with. He was hurt and that was a moment in the fight where, had I kept striking instead of going for the guillotine, that could've been the fight finisher."
Though Harrison is always looking for the finish, he admits that finding the right balance between throwing yourself into harm's way and taking your foot off the gas pedal is what separates champions from everyone else.
To walk away with his belt for the second time against the profound submission artist, Siler, Harrison doesn't plan on going tit-for-tat with "Super" in jiu-jitsu. He intends on making the tussle an exciting one, but what's more important to him is securing the victory and moving one step closer towards earning a shot in UFC.
"Best case scenario is I go out there and get the finish, I don't care how. From here, I get the call and go out there on the big stage and show people what I've been saying on Twitter," Harrison said.
For more on the Titan FC 37 card click here.