“…we’re generous, we like to give the beating rather than receive it”
Jonathan “The Hulk” Harris
Interview by: Lance Edwards
Watching Jonathan train at Submission Boxing, I could see that this was a fighter with a hard work ethic. With the trademark cauliflower ears denoting a seasoned grappler, I was surprised by his friendliness and just how polite Harris is, something a lot of fighters share.
TCD.net: Jonathan, so you’re fighting in three weeks, what do you know about your opponent
Jonathan: Yes, that’s right. What do I know? Not much really, I was due to fight Mike Brazoulis, however my opponent changed. I’ve just heard I’m fighting a guy called Kenny [editors note: It’s now JR Fuller], he’s a ground guy, that’s about it, he signed on Wednesday so I don’t know too much right now. I’m 181lbs three weeks out, by the week of the fight I’ll be 170.
TCD.net: Is it difficult to change the opponent so close to the fight?
Jonathan: No it’s ok, Mike’s a good wrestler so I focused a bit on that, but we train in all aspects of the game, we don’t like surprises and you can become too focused on a game plan, so that if the fighter does something different it’s hard to adapt. We like to train for anything that could happen in a fight.
TCD.net: Do you have a favorite aspect you like to train?
Jonathan: I like it all, everyday we train a different style. I feel as comfortable on the ground as I do standing, so wherever a fight goes I have the skills to finish it. Coach Frank likes to have us as well rounded as possible, we’re generous we like to give the beating rather than receive it.
TCD.net: When did you start training?
Jonathan: I’ve been training four years through a school, I started playing about with friends years before though. The more mixed martial arts grew the more I wanted to train seriously to compete, I thought I’d try and make the dream happen.
I started at Elite, which is a great school, it was a long journey for me so I thought I’d find a place to train nearer to home. I visited different schools, and submission boxing really stood out. It’s a family here, loyalty’s a big part, we’re a team and we support each other, all pulling together to make each of us the best we can be.
TCD.net: You’re fighting at Legacy aren’t you?
Jonathan: Yes that’s right, my last fight was with legacy, and my first two were at Havoc of Houston, I had two amateur fight with Lonestar Beatdown. I love the show they put on, it’s a great venue, there’s not a bad seat in the house for the spectators and it’s really professional, Mick always takes care of me. I feel really fortunate getting to fight on the show. The Houston Arena was designed for cage fighting, you couldn’t find a better venue.
TCD.net: Is it hard being a pro starting out?
Jonathan: It’s very difficult being a pro coming up, I passed up some really good jobs to be broke and chase my dreams. I give respect to low end fighters, it’s hard to train full time and work full time, and takes a lot of faith. I nearly had to quit to work the oil field, Coach Frank and my team believe in me, and I have faith that I’ll get there. It helps to have your team mates to support and believe in you.
TCD.net: So what does your training consist of?
Jonathan: We have specialist coaches who teach the different aspects to allow us to have well rounded fights, wrestling, boxing, muay thai, and jujitsu. You see wrestlers get shut down by standup fighter, and jujitsu guys get shut down by wrestlers; we train pretty evenly to have skills in all these aspects. Every day is different, that’s what drew me here.
We do a lot of circuits, as conditioning is so important. My conditioning coach has be doing pool two days, two days long distance, and we do sprints and drills. I used to be into bodybuilding, so I kind of take care of that part myself and do weights. Trent Denton is one of the head coaches in San Jacinto College athletics department, we’re really lucky to have him here. When they first got me I’d die after one minute, now I can last for rounds.
TCD.net: Anything you’d like to say to anyone?
Jonathan: I’d just like to give special thanks to my sponsors. Dr. Donavan May keeps me healthy, of course all my coaches, and big props to legacy for letting me give all I’ve got in the show, and of course The Cage Door for exposure.
TCD.net: So what should we expect on 31st July?
Jonathan: I’m coming to kill or be killed, it should lead to a good show.
Thanks Jonathan, we wish you all the best for your fight.