Walt Harris (fighter)
|Born||Walter Jermaine Harris|
June 10, 1983
Birmingham, Alabama, United States
|Other names||The Vault|
The Big Ticket
The Skull Crusher
|Residence||Homewood, Alabama, United States|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight||264.5 lb (120.0 kg; 18.89 st)|
|Reach||77 in (196 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Birmingham, Alabama, United States|
|Team||SBG Alabama – Spartan Fitness|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Walter Jermaine Harris (born June 10, 1983) is an American mixed martial artist currently competing in the Heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A professional since 2011, Harris has also formerly competed for Titan FC. As of August 4, 2020, he is #11 in the UFC heavyweight rankings.
Mixed martial arts career
Harris made his professional mixed martial arts debut on March 15, 2011, when he faced Justin Thornton at HEF: Hess Extreme Fighting. He won via first-round TKO, just sixteen seconds into the first round. Following this, Harris compiled a record of 6–1, with wins over Tony Melton and UFC veteran Anthony Hamilton, before signing with UFC in the fall of 2013.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
On September 19, 2013, it was announced that Harris had signed with the UFC, and he faced fellow newcomer Jared Rosholt at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale on November 30, 2013. Despite dropping Rosholt in the first round, Rosholt rallied back and Harris lost the fight via unanimous decision.
In his second fight with the promotion, Harris faced Nikita Krylov at UFC on Fox 10 on January 25, 2014. Though he was the considerable favorite coming into the bout, Harris was staggered by a head kick from Krylov, and after follow-up strikes on the ground from Krylov, he lost the bout via TKO, just 25 seconds into the first round. After dropping to 0–2 in the UFC, Harris was subsequently released from the promotion.
Titan Fighting Championship
Following his UFC release, Harris signed with Florida based promotion Titan FC. He faced D.J. Linderman at Titan FC 28 on May 16, 2014. He won the fight via first-round knockout. He was expected to face Dave Herman at Titan FC 30 on September 26, 2014. However, Harris pulled out of the bout due to a back injury and the fight was postponed.
Return to UFC
After Daniel Omielańczuk was forced to pull out of his bout with Soa Palelei due to a thumb injury, Harris resigned with UFC and faced Palelei at UFC Fight Night 55 on November 7, 2014. He lost the fight via second-round TKO.
Harris was expected to face Mark Godbeer on October 7, 2017, at UFC 216 before a fight-day injury to Derrick Lewis took him out of his scheduled fight with Fabrício Werdum. As a result, Harris moved on to face Werdum, and Godbeer was pulled from the event. Harris lost the fight via submission in the first round.
The bout with Godbeer was quickly rescheduled and took place on November 4, 2017, at UFC 217. Harris lost the bout by disqualification after Harris hit Godbeer with a head kick following the referee calling a time out due to a groin strike.
Harris faced Andrei Arlovski on December 29, 2018, at UFC 232. He won the fight via split decision. It was reported on January 26, 2019, that Harris tested positive for LGD4033, and selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) like ostarine, and he was temporarily suspended by California State Athletic Commission (CSAC). In February, Harris was suspended for four months and fined $4,000. The fight result was overturned to a no contest. Per the CSAC, Harris was able to prove the positive test resulted from a tainted supplement and the commission does not believe he was an intentional doper, hence the shorter suspension.
Harris was expected to face Aleksei Oleinik on May 4, 2019, at UFC Fight Night 151. However, on April 3, 2019, it was announced that Oleinik would face Alistair Overeem at UFC on ESPN+ 7 after Alexander Volkov pulled from the event. He was replaced by Sergey Spivak. Harris won the fight via TKO in the first round. This fight earned Harris his first Performance of the Night bonus award.
The bout between Harris and Oleinik was rescheduled and took place on July 20, 2019, at UFC on ESPN 4. Harris won the fight via knockout just 12 seconds into the first round. This win earned him the Performance of the Night bonus.
Harris was expected to face Alistair Overeem on April 11, 2020 at UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris. The pairing was previously scheduled to headline UFC on ESPN 7 in December 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was eventually postponed. The match was rescheduled to May 16, 2020 at UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris. Despite hurting, and almost finishing Overeem in the first round, Harris went on to lose via second round TKO.
Harris worked as a furniture mover and also worked for UPS prior to becoming an MMA fighter. Harris is married to Angela Haley-Harris, they have four children. They are currently living in Homewood, Alabama where their children attend school.
Murder of stepdaughter
At the end of October 2019, news surfaced that Harris' stepdaughter, Aniah Blanchard, was reported missing on October 24, 2019. Soon after, Auburn police revealed that after finding evidence from Blanchard's vehicle, they suspected foul play regarding the disappearance. Subsequently, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey set up a reward of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator, which was matched by an anonymous donor. Additionally, the UFC President Dana White and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones upped the ante by contributing $25,000 per person for the information. The reward sum exceeded $100,000.
On November 6, 2019, the Auburn police department released surveillance footage from an Auburn convenience store, presenting the person suspected in the disappearance, later identified as Ibraheem Yazeed, a repeat offender. On November 8, 2019, Yazeed was captured as an out-of-state fugitive in Escambia County, Florida and was extradited to Auburn. On November 20, 2019, Yazeed was charged with first-degree kidnapping in an Alabama court, and remains in jail without bond. On November 25, 2019 an Alabama district attorney announced that they had found the remains of a girl they believe to be Aniah Blanchard in neighboring Macon County. Blanchard's remains were identified on November 27, 2019. In late November 2019, two additional suspects, Antwain Fisher and David Lee Johnson Jr., were arrested and charged with first-degree kidnapping and hindering prosecution, respectively. In December however, Fisher's charges were dropped with prejudice in Lee county. On November 28, 2019, police reports confirmed that the body found was indeed Walt's step daughter and an autopsy confirmed that Blanchard was killed by a gunshot wound. At the same time, the district attorney announced that capital murder charges were filed against Yazeed.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Amateur Boxing
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|22 matches||13 wins||8 losses|
|Loss||13–8 (1)||Alistair Overeem||TKO (punches)||UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris||May 16, 2020||2||3:00||Jacksonville, Florida, United States|
|Win||13–7 (1)||Aleksei Oleinik||KO (punch)||UFC on ESPN: dos Anjos vs. Edwards||July 20, 2019||1||0:12||San Antonio, Texas, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||12–7 (1)||Sergey Spivak||TKO (knees and punches)||UFC Fight Night: Iaquinta vs. Cowboy||May 4, 2019||1||0:50||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada||Performance of the Night.|
|NC||11–7 (1)||Andrei Arlovski||NC (overturned)||UFC 232||December 29, 2018||3||5:00||Inglewood, California, United States||Originally a split decision win for Harris; overturned after he tested positive for LGD-4033.|
|Win||11–7||Daniel Spitz||TKO (punches and elbows)||UFC Fight Night: Rivera vs. Moraes||June 1, 2018||2||4:59||Utica, New York, United States|
|Loss||10–7||Mark Godbeer||DQ (illegal kick)||UFC 217||November 4, 2017||1||4:29||New York City, United States|
|Loss||10–6||Fabrício Werdum||Submission (armbar)||UFC 216||October 7, 2017||1||1:05||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||10–5||Cyril Asker||TKO (punches and elbows)||UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Correia||June 17, 2017||1||1:44||Kallang, Singapore|
|Win||9–5||Chase Sherman||KO (knee and punches)||UFC Fight Night: Rodríguez vs. Penn||January 15, 2017||2||2:41||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Loss||8–5||Shamil Abdurakhimov||Decision (split)||UFC Fight Night: Lineker vs. Dodson||October 1, 2016||3||5:00||Portland, Oregon, United States|
|Win||8–4||Cody East||TKO (punches)||UFC 197||April 23, 2016||1||4:18||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||7–4||Soa Palelei||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Bisping||November 7, 2014||2||4:49||Sydney, Australia|
|Win||7–3||D.J. Linderman||KO (punches)||Titan FC 28||May 16, 2014||1||4:12||Newkirk, Oklahoma, United States|
|Loss||6–3||Nikita Krylov||TKO (head kick and punches)||UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Thomson||January 25, 2014||1||0:25||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Loss||6–2||Jared Rosholt||Decision (unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate Finale||November 30, 2013||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||6–1||Tony Melton||TKO (punches)||Strike Hard Productions 24||June 15, 2013||1||2:00||Birmingham, Alabama, United States|
|Win||5–1||Josh Robertson||TKO (punches)||Strike Hard Productions 20||December 8, 2012||1||1:06||Birmingham, Alabama, United States|
|Win||4–1||Anthony Hamilton||KO (punches)||Superior Cage Combat 4: Grove vs. Silva||February 16, 2012||1||1:15||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||3–1||Cedric James||KO (punches)||Fight Time 7: The Return||October 7, 2011||1||0:22||Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States|
|Win||2–1||Wes Little||KO (punch)||Fight Force International: Blood & Sand 9||May 7, 2011||1||1:54||Biloxi, Mississippi, United States|
|Loss||1–1||Chris Barnett||Decision (unanimous)||World Extreme Fighting 46||April 22, 2011||3||5:00||Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Win||1–0||Justin Thornton||TKO (punches)||Hess Extreme Fighting||March 15, 2011||1||0:16||Panama City Beach, Florida, United States|
- "UFC Fight Night Sydney: Print Card". UFC.com. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
- "STATE OF NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRYATHLETIC COMMISSION" (PDF). boxing.nv.gov. October 7, 2017. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
- "Fighter Rankings | UFC ®". UFC. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
- "Ex-Division I college basketball player Walter Harris' potential has coach Charles McCarthy fired up". sports.yahoo.com. October 1, 2013.
- "Hess Extreme Fighting Results". Sherdog.com. March 15, 2011.
- "The UFC adds two new heavyweights to it's [sic] roster with Jared Rosholt and Walter Harris – Bloody Elbow". BloodyElbow.com. September 19, 2013. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "TUF 18 Finale: Jared Rosholt vs. Walt Harris". Tapology.com. November 30, 2013.
- "Nikita Krylov vs. Walt Harris added to UFC on Fox 10". BloodyElbow.com. December 6, 2013.
- "UFC on FOX 10 results, photos: Nikita Krylov stuns Walt Harris in 25-second beatdown". MMAJunkie.com. January 25, 2014.
- "Heavyweight Walt Harris latest fighter to receive UFC release". FoxSports.com. March 28, 2014.
- "D.J. Linderman Goes Back to Roots to Bring Pain in His Titan Fighting Debut". TitanFighting.com. May 5, 2014.
- "Titan FC 28: Walt Harris vs. DJ Linderman". Tapology.com. May 16, 2014.
- "Resurgent UFC Veterans Dave Herman and Walt Harris Square Off at Titan FC 30". MMAWeekly.com. June 25, 2014.
- "Back injury to Walt Harris delays fight against Dave Herman to November in Titan FC". themmareport.com. September 17, 2014.
- "Dave Herman vs. Jon Madsen set for inaugural heavyweight title at Titan FC 32". themmareport.com. October 21, 2014.
- "Walt Harris returns to UFC, meets Soa Palelei at UFC Fight Night 55". MMAJunkie.com. October 21, 2014.
- "UFC Fight Night 55 results: Soa Palelei pounds out Walt Harris, then sings". MMAJunkie.com. November 7, 2014.
- Staff (April 4, 2016). "After Legacy 51 win, Cody East signs with UFC, faces Walt Harris at UFC 197". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
- Brent Brookhouse (April 23, 2016). "UFC 197 results: Walt Harris' heavy hands lead to first-round TKO of Cody East". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Staff (August 1, 2016). "3 more added to UFC Fight Night 96". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- Matt Erickson (October 1, 2016). "UFC Fight Night 96 results: Shamil Abdurakhimov takes split from Walt Harris in heavyweight ho-hummer". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
- Staff (November 28, 2016). "Walt Harris vs. Chase Sherman added to UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- Ben Fowlkes (January 15, 2017). "UFC Fight Night 103 results: 'Big Ticket' Walt Harris gives Chase Sherman ticket to lights out". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
- Staff (March 29, 2017). "UFC Fight Night 111 takes shape in Singapore". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
- "UFC Fight Night 111 results: Walt Harris pounds out Cyril Asker in opening round". MMAjunkie. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
- Mike Sloan (August 2, 2017). "UFC 216 bolstered with several bouts". sherdog.com. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- John Morgan and Simon Samano (October 7, 2017). "Derrick Lewis injured, Fabricio Werdum now faces Walt Harris last minute at UFC 216". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
- "UFC 216 results: Fabricio Werdum armbars Walt Harris in just over a minute". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
- Jim Edwards (October 9, 2017). "Mark Godbeer and Walt Harris reschedule bout at UFC 217". mmauno.com. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
- "UFC 217 results: Mark Godbeer takes kick to the face – and DQ win over Walt Harris". MMAjunkie. November 5, 2017. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
- DNA, MMA. "Harris vs. Spitz & Brooks vs. Sandoval toegevoegd aan UFC Utica". mmadna.nl. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
- "UFC Fight Night 131 results: Walt Harris knocks out Daniel Spitz late in second". MMAjunkie. June 2, 2018. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
- "Andrei Arlovski vs. Walt Harris na UFC 232 w Las Vegas – InTheCage.pl". InTheCage.pl (in Polish). October 27, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
- "UFC 232 results: Walt Harris takes split from Andrei Arlovski in snoozer". MMAjunkie. December 30, 2018. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
- "Walt Harris temporarily suspended by CSAC after positive UFC 232 drug test". MMAjunkie. January 23, 2019. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- Raimondi, Marc (February 28, 2019). "Walt Harris suspended four months by CSAC for positive drug test, UFC 232 win overturned". MMA Fighting. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- Ariel Helwani (March 5, 2019). "UFC books Oleinik-Harris for May 4". espn.com. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
- Ravens, Andrew; MMA, LowKick (April 3, 2019). "Alistair Overeem Receives New Opponent At UFC St. Petersburg". LowKickMMA.com. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Lee, Alexander K. (April 9, 2019). "Unbeaten Sergey Spivak steps in to fight Walt Harris at UFC Ottawa". MMA Fighting. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
- Straus, Mike; MMA, LowKick (May 5, 2019). "UFC Ottawa Results: Walt Harris Batters Serghei Spivac". LowKickMMA.com. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- Stephie Haynes (May 4, 2019). "UFC Ottawa post-fight bonuses: Cerrone and Iaquinta score FOTN honors". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- Lee, Alexander K. (May 16, 2019). "UFC San Antonio bouts announced, including Liz Carmouche vs. Roxanne Modafferi, Aleksei Oleinik vs. Walt Harris". MMA Fighting. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
- Anderson, Jay (July 20, 2019). "UFC San Antonio Results: Walt Harris Knocks Out Oleinik in Twelve Seconds". Cageside Press. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
- Jon Fuentes (July 21, 2019). "UFC San Antonio Bonuses, Attendance & Gate". lowkickmma.com. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
- Steven Marrocco (August 13, 2019). "Alistair Overeem vs. Walt Harris headlines UFC on ESPN 7". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
- Mike Bohn (November 1, 2019). "Walt Harris withdraws from UFC on ESPN 7 headliner vs. Alistair Overeem". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
- Nolan King and John Morgan (March 15, 2020). "UFC postpones three events amid growing coronavirus outbreak". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
- DNA, MMA. "Alistair Overeem vs. Walt Harris opnieuw ingepland, ditmaal voor 16 mei". Retrieved April 9, 2020.
- Brett Okamoto (April 9, 2020). "Dana White says UFC 249 will not happen April 18". espn.com. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
- Martin, Damon (May 1, 2020). "UFC reveals full fight cards for May 13 and May 16 events". MMA Fighting. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
- Evanoff, Josh (May 17, 2020). "UFC on ESPN 8 Results: Alistair Overeem Survives, Finishes Walt Harris". Cageside Press. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
- "Alexander Volkov vs. Walt Harris slated for UFC 243 co-main event". Read MMA. July 29, 2020. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
- Walt Harris UFC Profile. UFC.com. Retrieved on November 20, 2014
- "Police: Evidence indicates foul play in case of Walt Harris' missing stepdaughter". mmajunkie.com. October 31, 2019.
- Damon Martin (October 31, 2019). "Dana White, Jon Jones and Governor of Alabama offer reward for information to help find Walt Harris' missing stepdaughter". mmafighting.com.
- "What we know about the case of UFC fighter Walt Harris' missing stepdaughter". mmajunkie.com. November 12, 2019.
- Kirsten Fiscus (November 8, 2019). "Ibraheem Yazeed, wanted in disappearance of Walt Harris' stepdaughter, arrested in Florida". mmajunkie.com.
- Damon Martin (November 20, 2019). "Suspect charged with kidnapping Walt Harris' stepdaughter denied bond, ordered to submit to DNA testing". mmafighting.com.
- "Remains found believed to be UFC fighters' stepdaughter". cbs42.com. November 25, 2019.
- Kirsten Fiscus (November 25, 2019). "'Strong reason to believe' Aniah Blanchard's body found, DA says". mmajunkie.com.
- Kirsten Fiscus (November 25, 2019). "Third suspect arrested in connection with Aniah Blanchard's disappearance". mmajunkie.com.
- Kirsten Fiscus (December 18, 2019). "Case dropped against Antwain Fisher in Aniah Blanchard's kidnapping". mmajunkie.com.
- Damon Martin (December 2, 2019). "Walt Harris' stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard killed by gunshot, prosecutors seeking death penalty". mmafighting.com.
- Sherdog.com. "Walt". Sherdog. Retrieved May 17, 2020.