It’s hard not to root for a guy like Walt Harris. Back in 2019, Harris was surging in the UFC‘s heavyweight division. On the heels of two consecutive knockout wins in the first minute of the first round, Harris looked like he was on the verge of contending for a title.
However, that’s when tragedy struck. Harris’ daughter was murdered in Alabama and it completely turned his world upside down. The Big Ticket contemplated hanging things up, but fought on because that’s what he said his daughter would have wanted him to do.
An emotional Walt Harris returned in May of last year to take on Alistair Overeem. In the first round, it looked like Harris was seconds away from the TKO win. However, Overeem withstood the storm and ended up finishing Harris in the second.
That loss snapped Harris’ UFC winning streak. Then, Harris was stopped at UFC 254 by Alexander Volkov. In that fight, Harris really never had any momentum. After those two losses, Harris moved his camp to Las Vegas to train at Xtreme Couture.
Harris worked alongside the UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou as he prepared for Saturday. On Saturday night, Harris looked great early. It appeared that he was on the verge of stopping Tybura. However, Tybura weathered the storm and got Harris down. Once it was there, it was all Tybura and he got the finish.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 28?
It’s hard not to feel for The Big Ticket after UFC Vegas 28. He’s on a three fight losing streak now, but in two of those fights, he looked like he was moments away from getting a finish of his own. However, he never could land that finishing blow.
The question now becomes, what’s next? Well, I think the UFC can still book Harris against a quality opponent. Again, he’s still being competitive with some top ten heavyweights, he just has a few things he needs to tighten up.
I think Harris needs a slight step back, but still should get a quality name. If I was the UFC, I would look at booking him against the winner of Greg Hardy (7-3, 1 NC) and Tai Tuivasa (11-3). Those two will square off at UFC 264.
Whoever wins that matchup will be on the fringe of the top fifteen. That is exactly where Harris’ next opponent needs to come from. He needs a quality name, but a slight step back in competition to get him back on the right track.