(Sadollah about to get Harrisplexed.)
Every Thursday morning, Team Rampage member Gerald Harris blogs his reactions to each new episode of The Ultimate Fighter. And this was the one we’ve been waiting for — the night Gerald actually gets to fight. But despite his early domination against Amir Sadollah, things didn’t turn out the way he’d hoped. Read below for Gerald’s rundown of the fight and how he felt about it, and give him a shout at his MySpace page.
It’s 8:58 p.m. and I’m staring at the clock hoping that it doesn’t click to 9:00. I’m sitting on the couch with my friends because every Wednesday we get together to watch the show. It was cool for the first couple weeks, but this one was different — I wasn’t smiling as much and I wasn’t excited. No one noticed and things went on as they did in the past. I’m flooded with text messages, phone calls, and high fives from my friends when the fight picks are announced. The fight starts and people are sending texts, calls, and jumping up and down as I slam and strike Amir the entire first round. Then it happens — “Bam,” in a quick flash — the fight’s over. You talk about silence? No one said a word for about 15 minutes, my phone stopped ringing, and nobody even looked at me. I broke the silence by saying “I’m sorry that I let y’all down, but it’s not over.” They’ve all seen the show and the success of fighters who got a second chance or at least earned a career in the UFC.
Now, let me take you back a couple months before I got there. I trained my ass off, running miles in the morning, and never missed Team Quest practice unless it was an emergency. I dreamed about holding The Ultimate Fighter trophy as Dana handed it to me and joining the ranks of Stevenson, Griffin, Evans, and many others. I was also doing bad financially and could barely afford to support my family, so winning those fights would help me provide for them. I’m the father of two and that’s how I feed them; this is my life, and the only thing that I do to earn money. When I lost that fight I felt like I let everyone down, I didn’t earn money to feed my kids, and lost the chance to become the next Ultimate Fighter. Once I took a deep breath and talked to Rampage I realized that it was ok. I still have a future in the UFC and a possible second chance to get into the tournament. During the fight I injured my ankle and scratched my eye, but that healed in a few days — the doc cleared me as good to go.
The fight — well I’m going to be a real man and say that Amir won that fight. He never quit, stuck to the game plan, and listened to his corner. He also hit me with a move that he practiced many times — there’s good timing, but no luck involved in that. I did almost the opposite. I relied on my wrestling too much and didn’t trust my hands. I zoned out and didn’t even listen to my corner yelling the proper instructions. The second round I became predictable, but not fatigued and Amir didn’t fear being slammed. I still don’t agree with the referee’s decision to stop the bout, but he’s not the one that knocked me down. I wasn’t out and should have improved on the single-leg, but it damn sure hurt like a bitch when I got to the house later! Most people expected me to go in there and cry about the ref, but that’s not going to get me anywhere. I got right back in the gym as soon as I healed up and worked on my hands to build that confidence. I must also say that I wanted to fight the entire line up from the #1 pick down — I chose Amir because he was picked second. I never underestimated him or thought he was an easy fight.
I can’t lie — it was hard to walk around the house and look at him. Sometimes I wanted to push him down the stairs, or punch him in the face while he was asleep, but then I would have gotten sent home. So, I chose to sit back, heal up, and figure out how to make something positive out of this negative situation. Well, that’s about it for today — but it ain’t over. I appreciate y’all coming in here and reading these blogs and also taking the time to post comments. I’ll take it all, so don’t hold back. I have learned from this experience and I take advice well, but not direction. I honor your opinion, but at the same time there are some ignorant people out there : ) Please continue to stop in because I’ll post every Thursday morning. See ya next week!