The Runner Sports

Andre Harrison WSOF Road To Gold

I’ve never formally met the current World Series of Fighting featherweight title challenger. Our paths crossed for 90 seconds or so at Bellmore Kickboxing Academy a while back. Andre was finishing up a coaching session and I could tell by the look on the faces of the people he just trained, Andre Harrison doesn’t play. Visibly tired and tested they thanked their coach for the good work. Andre thanked them, announced next week’s class time and strolled for the door. I didn’t see the entire session but I am sure every one of his students accomplished something because their coach pushed them to that place. He is a no nonsense type of person. Fighting or coaching, Harrison employs the old school hard work and dedication model. You don’t get to be in his position of the fight game without unwavering focus and energy.

The moment you blink to wipe the sweat from your eyes an opponent has a split second to get better than you. I’m pretty sure Andre hasn’t blinked in about six years. That is the amount of time it has taken this prospect turned undefeated title challenger to rise to the pinnacle of his second promotion’s ranks. Featherweight champion for Titan FC promotion, Harrsion defended the 145lb strap several times before moving on to bigger and better things like co-main events and network television. Andre “The Bull” Harrison is set to take on WSOF featherweight champ Lance Palmer on March 18 in upstate New York.

Lance Palmer represents the stiffest test to date for The Bull at featherweight. The Team Alpha Male product is 11-2 and the current WSOF champion. A similar but larger scaled version of Bellmore Kickboxing Academy, TAM is a hot bed for taking accomplished young wrestlers and turning them into MMA machines. Both fighters have a stable of thoroughbred training partners which help them hone their skills for an eventual clash on March 18. Andre isn’t worried, like I said, the man hasn’t blinked in 15 pro fights. Palmer has blinked at least twice in his career, two losses on a rather impressive resume means he can be beaten. The latter has yet to be said for the undefeated Harrison.

I had the pleasure of interviewing The Bull a few fights ago and he said some things that have stuck with me since. His words are unwavering and I know he approaches all of his fights with the same hard working warrior mentality. When asked if he follows a mantra for fighting he paused for a second and recalled a proverb that stuck with him, “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm.” This quote gave me a unique perspective inside the mind of a fighter. His continued success is possible because he can look inward to recognize and address the shortcomings and flaws in his technique. Once a fighter can do that, progression and accomplishment can begin to follow.

There is another factor Andre attributes to his success, “You are who you train with.” BKA has churned out many a professional fighter at the hands of owner and head trainer Keith Trimble. Harrison trains and spars with the likes of pro boxer Chris Algieri and UFC pro Gregor Gillespie. Other notable fighters to come out of BKA under Trimble are Gian Villante, Terrance Hill, and Ryan LaFlare. Harrison eluded to the reason he sounds so sure when people ask him how he knows he is going to win. “I’m sure because I train my butt off, when I am constantly being dragged into deep waters by these professionals, it gives you a sense of security going into the fight.”

Andre’s out-work-you mentality is evident in his training camps. Constantly trying to out work his opponents. Striking with Keith Trimble six times a week and countless BJJ sessions with Carlos Rosado has given Harrison the confidence to continue to rack up wins and titles. The right work ethic, physical attributes, and gas tank are the winning ingredients, The Bull is proof of that.

The confident contender doesn’t want you to get it twisted though. His road to the WSOF featherweight title shot did not come easy. When it came to picking opponents and getting matched up, Andre did not shy away from the tougher opposition. The 15 opponents that fell to the suffocating skill and pace of The Bull have combined for well over 100 professional victories between them. Often criticized while coming up for not finishing enough of his opponents, the title challenger did not let those negative statements creep into his consciousness. While frustrating, Andre refused to let the nay sayers infringe on his path to the gold. He stayed true to himself and the belief he developed over countless days suffering in the gym.

Harrison’s focus has paid off, just when he thought things were slowing down and a Ring of Combat fight fell through, WSOF called and offered Dre a fight on their New Year’s Eve Madison Square Garden event. Like a professional, Andre came in and strangled his opponent inside the first round to solidify a featherweight title shot. The Bull has one more opponent to charge through Saturday, then maybe just maybe he’ll blink. Nah he probably won’t.

You can catch the action live on NBCSN at 11 pm ET, March 18. You can follow Andre Harrsion @Drethebull on Twitter and Instagram.

Chris Grabowski

Chris Grabowski

Content Contributor at The Runner Sports
Former Division 1 athlete turned combat sports enthusiast. Combat sports can be described as human problem solving with dire physical consequences.
Chris Grabowski

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