There’s no denying that CageSport has become the proving ground for many of the Northwestern United States’ top young talent. Joining the ranks of fighters such as Drew Brokenshire, Anthony Hamilton and Lee Morrison is lightweight title contender Harrison Bevens.
At 7-1, Bevens has fought all but one of his bouts for CageSport and has proven himself worthy of a lightweight title shot on Saturday in Tacoma, Wash. But things haven’t all come easy.
A loss against Craig Jackson in December of last year followed by a shoulder injury sustained in his comeback fight against Charon Spain dampened his momentum as he headed into his last fight this past August against Davis Shepard.
“My first pro loss was a tough one,” said Bevens. “Mentally, I just wasn’t ready. I had to pull out of a fight in September because I had been bitten by a dog and I never really got in the training. Overall, it was a very hard training camp for me. And so after that, I didn’t show up mentally.
“I separated my shoulder in that (Spain) fight, and that’s why it was so long in between fights. I separated my shoulder in the first round when I picked him up for a slam. The rehab took longer than I anticipated.”
Bevens defeated Spain, and in his next fight against Shepard, things came full circle.
“That last fight was a big step up for me,” said Bevens. “It was the first time I was able to use my striking. I’d been using it a lot in the gym, but in my fights it never translated. So I’m really happy about that.
“The biggest thing I got out of that was a confidence booster in my abilities and what I can actually do. There are definitely some areas that I want improve upon, like keeping my hands up and being more active when counter-punching.”
Bevens’ confidence being at an all-time high comes at an opportune time, as he faces fellow top prospect Justin Harrington (5-0) for the CageSport 155-pound championship on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a tough fight,” said Bevens. “I know (Harrington’s) talented. Some of the people I train with have fought him before and he’s beat them. He’s a big 155er. That’s going to be tough for me to overcome. I don’t think I’ve fought anybody stronger than me at 155, and I think I’m going to get into that. He’s got clean boxing and keeps really good pressure and has good ground.
“I’m just trying to get ready for whatever’s there. I’m expecting it to go 25 minutes because I know he’s going to be hard to finish. I know where my abilities are at and where my conditioning is at and I’m ready to go 25. I think it will be an exciting fight no matter how it ends.”
Having gotten past issues prior to his upcoming bout with Harrington, Bevens told MMAWeekly.com that this fight he’ll be able to open fully, making for a fight fans are not going to want to miss.
“I always enjoy reminiscing and talking about fights, but I was always so tense in the cage that it created a lot of anxiety pre-fight,” he said. “In this one, being able to let go mentally, I’m just so excited for this fight. We’re going to put a good beating on each other.”
(Photo courtesy of CageSport and ErnieSapiro.com)