Interview: Gerald Harris speaks about Rampage Jackson, Stand Up Comedy & Slams.
Gerald Harris is an American mixed martial artist and stand-up comedian, who is currently part of Bellator MMA. Gerald was a cast member of The Ultimate Fighter 7(Team Rampage) and has also successfully competed in most major MMA promotions including the UFC.
A notable face in the MMA world, the Hurricane is known for his killer Slams, he successfully KO'ed numerous high-level competitors from various top promotions. The Hurricane is also a dear friend of UFC veteran, Quinton 'Ramage' Jackson and has been bestowed the title of 'Slam King' by Rampage himself.
Gerald Harris is a keen commentator and respected voice in the MMA world. Sportskeeda got an opportunity to catch up with this gentleman and got his insights about some of the issues of the game and some interesting information about his life and career,
Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
You have been part of some of the top promotions in the world including UFC and Bellator, which one is the closest to your heart and why?
I appreciate you having this Interview with me. I have fought for a lot of organizations, pretty much everybody. I was in the UFC after they bought PRIDE and WEC and all those organizations and in Strikeforce. So I mean, I've been pretty much everywhere, I'll tell you right now, the UFC was fun, it thought me that I could compete at the highest level. And I had only three years of experience, but my favorite organization...And I'm not being a butt kisser right now, Bellator has been awesome, my career hasn't gone as I wanted to in Bellator, but we will talk about that later, but I was not in fear of losing my job, Bellator has been amazing, I talk to everyone, all of them are my friends like Cocker (Scott Cocker), Rich Hale, everybody is really cool. I love it there and I'm going to end my career there. So, Bellator is my favorite organization.
How was training with Ramage for the Ultimate fighter? Is he the reason behind you becoming the Slam King?
I met Rampage Jackson on the Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 7, I didn't know he was going to pick me but I was actually picked kind off late, I think I was picked like sixth or something. I was a little upset about that, but I didn't have a lot of standup-game back then, so I understood. But we became really close friends after that, we had a lot in common, and after that, he invited me to his camp and I helped him with his wrestling, I helped him with two training camps I believe and I watched him fight Forrest Griffin. The dude is like my brother, man... he has helped me in so many ways, he has come visited me a couple of times.
As far as him being my role model, I haven't watched him fight, I actually watched Tito (Tito Ortiz) fight more than anybody, with the ground and pound. My slamming comes from my wrestling background, man...but once I saw Rampage slam people! OMG! I always wanted to do that, man...and once he titled me the Slam King, that's probably the highest honor that I ever got in the sports of Mixed martial arts. Seriously, man. To be honored the Slam King by the actual Slam King, passing the torch, that's the real deal, you know, and I came here to pass the torch to somebody else.
Out of all the Slams, you used to finish fights in your career, which one did you enjoy doing the most?
Speaking of Slam King, my favorite slam of all time is the David Branch Slam. That was a hard fight. I had no idea how the judges were with the score, he was a black belt in BJJ, he was a boxer, he was everything, and I was just a little dude from the hood fighting out of a gym. I mean a little gym, we didn't even have MMA sparring at my gym. We literally just boxed, wrestled, like it was kind of crazy.
Anyway, long story short, It was UFC 116, I was in the same locker room as Brock Lesnar, It was a pay per view (PPV), I was the fight before the PPV card, all my people at back home watching, and man... It just happened, you know..It's not something I've been practicing but something that hit me, he got in the position and BOOM! it happened and the rest is history, so I would say that.
I would say that my second favorite slam and this gonna sound really mean, In my last slam (Matt Mckeon) I threw a guy down and It didn't break his arm but it dislocated his elbow. But right before that he had flipped me off and said: "where's the Slam King"? I actually slammed this dude, maybe 90 seconds after he flipped me off and called me names and asked "where's the slam king at", that's another one of my favorites.
You have a record for slamming numerous fighters on the canvas. Poirier Vs Alverez was almost stopped due to an illegal 12-6 elbow, whats the Slam Kings take on the legality of the 12-6 elbow?
I am a big fan of Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez, I think its unfortunate that he kind off stood up for the 12-6 elbow. I personally think its a silly rule for the fact that we can knee people to the face and obviously slam people into the canvas. I just think that it's not fair to call a 12-6 elbow dangerous when Andeson Silva can knee people to the face. So my take on it, they need to eliminate this rule and let us fight.
What was your incentive behind becoming a standup, Is that what you plan to pursue after retirement from prizefighting? Or do you have any other plans?
Standup Comedy! A lot of people don't know that I've been doing Standup way before I started fighting, I started doing standup comedy when I was 18 years old, this is almost my 20th year doing comedy, I love it, it's my first passion. I like fighting... I won't say I like fighting, I would say, I'm just good at it...I'm good at fighting, I like the competition. As far as comedy, you could put me at stage any day. Like seriously, I could stand up there for hours. I've recorded two stand-up specials, I have one at production right now and comedy is my first passion.
The good thing about Bellator is that they let their fighters do comedy and do their shows and things like that before the fights. Before my Bellator debut, they had Frank Mir and Chael Sonnon, and they took them to the comedy club and they had some fun. But I'm gonna tell you, I'm a professional man, you put me on a stage, and I'm gonna show you some things. One day... you know what? when my stand u special is done being produced, I'll send you a copy of it, I hope you like it, Alright!
Your last two fights at Bellator didn't go according to plan. I'm sure you have still a lot of game left in you, so I'm not asking if you are going to fight again. Do you have any names in Bellator that you want to face next?
Man, this is the good question, I haven't had a two-fight losing streak since 2006, no I'm sorry, 2008, I haven't had a two-fight losing streak for 10 years. So, in 2008 I lost my first fight in UFC and immediately after that, I lost to James Head. I went to win-win after that. I lost one after that, I believe. And I'm probably on one of my worst losing streaks ever. I got submitted for the first time in my career by one of the best submission artists in mixed martial arts, Mr. Lavato (Rafael Lovato Jr) and then I took a fight at 170lbs and then I fought a Russian wizard (Yaroslav Amosov) this guy was amazing, he had great wrestling, he had great cardio, he was good at boxing, he was good at everything.
I'll tell you this, I'm sure Bellator's gonna keep me around, I was actually one win away from being in the welterweight Grand Prix, but it could be a blessing in disguise, 170 is not my weight class, I feel weak and I am a huge fan of Roy Jones Jr. And I remember when he went up to heavyweight and came down and he fought Tarver (Antonio Tarver) and how weak he felt and nothing against that kid, he probably would have beat me at my best that night. So I don't want to make this sound like an excuse. But, 170lbs is not my weight class. I don't feel so strong and powerful and explosive as I feel at 185lbs, so I'm coming to 185lbs, and I'm coming. I'm coming out the gate.
I don't call fighters out, really. I don't really want to fight anybody, I just want to fight, If it's a Grand Prix or a title fight, I just want to fight man, I just want to go out there, I just want to throw some hands, stuff some takedown, I want the fans to cheer, I want to feed my family. So, as long as Bellator allows me, I promise you, man, I'll bring the show. So my goal now is to go there and kick butt. And as you can hear my baby is crying, So thanks for having me man and I would love to do the interview again.
I thank Mr. Gerald Harris for giving his valuable time for this interview, It was an honor to speak to the Slam King. I along with the Sportskeeda MMA Squad wishes him all the best for his future fights, and we eagerly wait for the Hurricane's next Stand Up Special.