What’s next for Walt Harris after UFC 254

It was a rough night at the office for The Big Ticket this past Saturday. At UFC 254, Walt Harris (13-9, 1 NC) took on Alexander Volkov (32-8) on the PPV main card. Harris was looking to bounce back after his loss to Alistair Overeem back in May.

2019 was a breakout year for the fighting career of Walt Harris. The Big Ticket scored two first round knockouts which put him inside the top ten. However, tragedy would strike the Harris family as their daughter Aniah was murdered just about a year ago.

Harris took some time away to recover emotionally from the tragedy. Following this, he made his courageous return to the UFC back in May where he fought Overeem. Harris stormed out of the gate and dropped Overeem in the opening round.

Harris appeared to be seconds away from scoring his third straight first round knockouts. However, Overeem survived the onslaught from Harris. Harris emptied the tanks trying to finish Overeem in the first, and looked exhausted in the second.

Overeem took advantage and was able to get the win. On Saturday at UFC 254, Harris just could never get going against Volkov. The extremely long Russian kept Harris out of range all night. Eventually a big body kick from Volkov led to a TKO victory.

What’s next for Harris after UFC 254?

One can only imagine what the last 12 months have been like for Walt Harris. 2020 has not been ideal when it comes to his UFC career given the results. However, I will say that I was encouraged by the attitude and mental state of Harris leading up to UFC 254.

He seemed that he had his confidence back. He claimed that the believed when he was at his best, he was the best heavyweight striker in the UFC. Obviously, Harris didn’t perform at his best on Saturday night, but don’t count him out yet.

In terms of what’s next for Harris after the victory, I think a good next matchup would be one with Blagoy Ivanov (18-4, 1 NC). Ivanov is about as tough as they come, but he’s also on a two fight losing streak inside the UFC.

Both men will still be ranked inside the top 15 once the new rankings come out this week. They are in similar positions right now, so I believe it would be a good idea to pair these two up against each other.

Ahead of UFC 254, Walt Harris believes he’s the best striker in the heavyweight division

There might not be a heavyweight in the UFC that you would want to root for more than the Big Ticket, Walt Harris (13-8, 1 NC). Harris has been through more over the last 12 months than anyone should ever have to go through.

Just about a year ago, Harris’ step-daughter, Aniah Blanchard, was murdered. This completely turned the world upside down for the top UFC heavyweight contender. Harris had two sensational knockouts in 2019 prior to the tragedy.

After the tragedy occurred, Harris had to step away for a few months understandably. Harris returned to the UFC back in May where he took on Alistair Overeem. However, you could tell that Harris was still carrying a lot of that emotional weight.

Harris stormed out of the gate dropping and nearly finishing Overeem in the first round. However, the veteran Overeem survived and went on to finish a tired Harris in the second round. However, it was a victory for Harris just getting back into the cage.

This Saturday night at UFC 254, Harris will make the walk for the second time since the tragedy. He has a lot of motivation and he seems to have his confidence back. Harris showed off that confidence this week.

UFC 254 heavyweight matchup

“My striking is way better than his (Alexander Volkov). I feel like I’m the best striker in the division in my personal opinion,” Harris told reporters this week at the UFC 254 media day. Harris takes on Alexander Volkov (31-8) this weekend on the main card of the PPV.

These comments were met with laugher from Volkov who has a prestigious striking pedigree. He firmly believes that he will be the best striker in the cage on Saturday night. The former Bellator heavyweight champion is looking to bounce back Saturday night.

Back in 2018, Volkov was perhaps only a victory away from a UFC title shot. However, Derrick Lewis knocked him out in the final fifteen seconds of their fight. Volkov was also defeated by Curtis Blaydes earlier this year at UFC on ESPN 11.

Both of these heavyweight contenders have something to prove on Saturday night. They will walk into UFC 254 trying to re-establish themselves as top contenders in the division. The winner will be right back into the conversation near the top of the division.