Andre Harrison trains with the likes of Al Iaquinta, Dennis Bermudez and others at the Bellmore Kickboxing Academy and Gracie Barra, so he knows what it will take to make it in the UFC.
At 5-0, and with a bout coming up in June for the Ring of Combat featherweight title against Matias Vasquez, Harrison is looking to continue his winning ways.
“Keith Trimble and Spiro Vlantis, two people who I honestly believe are great at what they do and genuinely care about me as more than just an athlete, are my main trainers,” said Harrison, during a recent interview with FiveOuncesofPain. “I also train at Gracie Barra with Joe Scarola and spar with Dennis Bermudez, Gregor Gillespie, Al Iaqinta, the list goes on and on. Chris Wade, Mike Prokpop – all the right mixings for a tough sparring session.”
Harrison earned four amateur victories prior to turning pro, including two first round finishes. He stopped Ruben Rey in his most recent fight this past January via TKO in the second round.
While some of the younger generation of fighters are getting into MMA now right off the bat, the sport kind of just happened to be there for Harrison.
“MMA kind of found me. I wrestled at a Div. II school in college and a teammate of mine, JT Hudson, was fighting at the time and expressed to me he wanted someone to help him train,” Harrison said. “I guess I was ignorant at the time thinking I could just jump in, but I did and got kicked and punched from anywhere. Me being the competitor I am I couldn’t event sleep right that night. I would say, ‘I’m (gonna) get him back,” and by the time I did, it was two weeks prior to my first (amateur) MMA fight.”
Since the UFC has given Harrison an option now with the inclusion of the featherweight division a few years ago, that is the end goal for the prospect.
In five years, I hope to be at the peak of the featherweight division in the UFC. No athlete wants to just be competing, they want to be the best. All the hard work that goes into being a pro MMA fighter I believe will pay off. I believe I’m doing all the right things. I believe I’m surrounded by the right people and I’m going to keep on trucking in the right direction.
The New Yorker also expressed his appreciation for his soon-to-be fiance who “does an amazing job of holding down the household (when I’m training). And (she makes sure) my daughter is always well taken care of and I’m just very excited to see what the future holds.”
Photo credit: Andre Harrison