TUF Nations’ Luke Harris Can’t “Make Excuses” For Recent Loss, But Says it Doesn’t Reflect “Ability Level”
By Kelsey Mowatt
When the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced that Luke Harris was going to be part of Team Canada for TUF Nations, few fans and observers throughout the country were likely surprised. Not only did Harris carry a 10-2 record heading into the show, but he’s regarded as one of Canada’s top 185’ers, thanks in part to his black belts in both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Unfortunately for the 36 year-old-fighter, however, he was quickly stopped by Vik Grujic in his first and only fight of the competition. It certainly wasn’t the kind of performance Harris was hoping to showcase.
“Honestly, my fans the people who support me, are going to be there regardless,” Harris relayed on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing the reaction his loss received. “It wasn’t a good performance. I think everyone knows that whether they support me or don’t. I’m not really happy about the performance either but that’s the way things go sometimes.”
Grujic stunned Harris early on with a left hook, and after taking the Canadian to the mat, he finished the fight with a series of elbows from above.
“You can’t really make excuses for it,” Harris furthered. “It’s just the way it goes sometimes. I’ve had some great performances in my career, and unfortunately, that was my worst performance I’d say…Being at the time, it was an important fight, so ya, it sucks.”
While more casual fans might have been introduced to Harris through the TUF Nations show, others may recall him from his recent run in the Maximum Fighting Championship, where he went 2-1.
“Well, yeah, absolutely. I definitely don’t think that this fight sort of shows my entire career or my ability level,” said Harris, who scored submission wins over Jason Zentgraf and Edwin Dewees while fighting for the MFC. “It was an important fight, there’s no question about that…I don’t feel that it dictates my entire career I guess.”
The defeat aside, Harris has been portrayed as a leader for Team Canada, which is a role the fighter is accustomed to playing.
“In my normal life, outside the show, I run the Hayabusa Training Centre and we have quite a large stable of fighters,” said Harris. “So, that mainly is a lot of my role, and of course I fight myself, but it’s not all I do. I coach, I run the gym and all that stuff, so it’s just sort of natural that on a show I’m going to have a similar role.”
“So yeah I helped most of the guys on our team cut weight, and get ready, and I’m also a veteran of the sport; I’ve been fighting for seven years, and been doing it longer than that,” furthered Harris, who competed for Canada’s national Judo team before breaking into pro MMA in 2007. “Some of these guys are just in their first, second years of their career, and some of these guys are 19 years old while I’m 36, so it’s pretty cool to be involved with these guys on that level, and give them a little bit of advice here and there too.”
And from what Harris has seen so far, have the episodes accurately portrayed what he witnessed first hand?
“It’s fairly accurate. There’s obviously more that takes place behind the scenes and everything, but it’s fairly accurate,” said Harris. “Really, there wasn’t a whole lot of animosity between the teams. Two very respectful teams; there was a little bit of drama here and there, but overall, really good guys.”