With his most recent win in King of the Cage in October in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, lightweight Jacob “The Darkness” Harkness once again proved himself one of the top prospects in the Northwest fight scene.
While Harkness managed to score a first-round TKO to raise his record to 6-2, just getting the fight to happen proved almost as difficult as the fight itself.
“I went into it thinking I would be fighting Rex Payne, but about a month before, he pulled out,” said Harkness. “He actually ended up calling back saying he wanted the fight, and about eight days before the fight, he pulled out again. There was this back and forth, back and forth.
“Michael Craig stepped up like 24 hours before the show, which I think is great. I feel like I performed well. There were a couple of opportunities where I could have probably knocked him out on the feet, that I didn’t take advantage of, but I definitely next time will be more sharp and ready to do that.”
The win was Harkness’ fifth in a row after a 1-2 start to his career. Harkness feels it was his second loss, in 2011 to Frank Ramsey, which proved the turning point to getting his career on track.
“(The loss to Ramsey) was one of the first times in my career that I felt like I was truly beat,” said Harkness. “I didn’t make a mistake that somebody capitalized on or I didn’t beat myself or fall into something; everything I did, he had an answer for. It really caused me to go back to the drawing board.”
Along with making his own adjustments in training, Harkness began training with former Strikeforce lightweight Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm, and under his influence, Harkness’ have grown exponentially.
“Lyle’s really helped transformed my fighting,” said Harkness. “He’s got me looking for victory in every position. I know I’m capable of winning whether it be on the feet, on the ground – I’m willing and able to find the victory everywhere I go.”
Harkness told MMAWeekly.com that not only is he very self-motivated to succeed, but being part of one of the deepest pools of young talent in the country in the Northwest also drives him to excel.
“I think it is an opportunity more than it is a punishment,” he said. “I think it drives fighters in the Northwest to really be the best they can be.
“Working with some of the top guys and knowing they are here inside the Northwest, I think has molded me into the fighter I am at the end of the day, knowing that I’ve got people breathing down my neck and I have to continue to show I’m one of the top guys.”
As for what’s next, Harkness is looking to fight for Conquest of the Cage in November, followed by a return to KOTC in pursuit of a championship.
“I want to go after the KOTC title,” said Harkness. “I want to fight one of the top contenders, and after I beat him I want to fight for the title. I’m ready to bring back another title to the Northwest.”