The argument about the best fighter in the world in any particular weight class typically ends with a debate pitting the UFC against Bellator.
Andre Harrison would like the change that narrative as he prepares to enter the Professional Fighters League tournament starting this Thursday as he looks to remain undefeated and roll through some of the best featherweight fighters in the world.
Undefeated through his first 17 fights, Harrison refutes the idea that he’s somehow not on the same level as fellow featherweights like Max Holloway or Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire, especially considering the resume he’s managed to put together.
“Truth be told, I’ve beat a lot of UFC guys and Bellator guys prior to the tournament,” Harrison told MMAWeekly. “If you look at my resume and the people that I fought again, I’ve beaten a couple of UFC vets. I’ve always looked at myself as a top tier fighter at 145 [pounds] no matter what organization. I’ve shown that I can go with anybody.
“[Steven] Siler was in the UFC, Desmond Green is in the UFC, Kurt Holobaugh is in the UFC, Cody Bollinger was on “The Ultimate Fighter” show so I’ve fought a lot of UFC guys.”
In his opening matchup this Thursday, Harrison will take on another UFC veteran in Jumabieke Tuerxun. With a win, Harrison hopes to set himself up as the No. 1 seed in the tournament but while this is a new matchup for him, there are several of his past opponents occupying spots in the tournament as well.
In other words, Harrison could be forced to fight in some rematches but that doesn’t seem to bother him much at all.
“It’s a fight. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first time I’m fighting you or the tenth time I’m fighting you,” Harrison said. “We’re going to treat it as if it’s the first and I’m going to prepare to the best of my ability. If I have to fight a person again, I’m going to try and beat them worse than the first time. If I haven’t faced them before, I’m going to let them understand what I’m about and what I bring to the table.”
Perhaps the best part about this tournament is that Harrison not only has a chance to establish his place among the best featherweights in the world but he also has the opportunity to take home $1 million in prize money.
Harrison see that as the gold at the end of the rainbow after he solidifies his spot in the featherweight division.
“That’s exactly what it is, life changing money,” Harrison said about the prize money. “I myself believe I’m the best featherweight in the world. I’ve fought a couple of the guys who are in the tournament already and I did well. I think I could have possibly done a little better in some of those fights but at the end of the day, I won and I didn’t even fight my best fight.
“I feel like I’m in a great position and I’ve just go to go out there and play my part.”