Phil “Billy” Harris – “The pressure will be on Neil”

Phil “Billy” Harris will make his return to the UFC in Dublin at UFC Fight Night 46 following his release in what has been a crazy few months for the Flyweight fighter. “After my last fight (against Louis Gaudinot) the UFC quite rightly released me. I spoke to my manager as I wanted to fight ASAP and he sorted me out with a Cage Warriors contract. Then the day before I was due to fly out to Jordan my opponent pulled out with chicken pox. I was waiting to find out when I could get matched against when I got the call to fight Neil Seery back in the UFC. Obviously I was over the moon to get back to the UFC.”

Not only did Harris get resigned to the UFC but also had the result of his last fight overturned to a no contest as a result of his last opponent, Louis Gaudinot, testing positive for a diuretic. Having nearly lost his opportunity to compete for the UFC at the hands of someone who was trying to cheat the system Harris rightly so had some strong views on the current system which the UFC employ. “The bans for people failing these test should be much longer in my opinion. But drug testing is mega expensive and so it’s hard to test everyone even at the top level. I am sure many more would fail.”

Now keen to put the past behind him and focus on the task at hands, Harris is giving his upmost attention to his opponent Neil Seery. The two have previous history having fought back in May 2010 at BAMMA 3, a fight in which Harris won by decision. Since that fight both fighters have taken a different path with Seery going 6-2 with six of those fights taking place under the Cage Warriors banner. Harris won two on the bounce for Cage Warriors before getting snapped up by the UFC and amassing a record of 3-2-1. Although the two have already locked horns Harris is by no means overlooking Seery in their upcoming bout. “I have prepared for Neil the same as anyone, by giving 100% and doing all that I can to be ready. It doesn’t matter who I am fighting, my preparation is the same.”

The Fight Night 46 card sees the UFC return to Ireland for the first time since UFC 93 back in 2009 and as a result of a number of high profile fighters joining the UFC roster the card has picked up a huge following. The traction that the card has picked up has definitely been noticed by the fighters in the run up to fight night. “Fighting on this card is amazing. The hype behind it has been awesome and that is thanks to the Irish being great supporters. And not just supporters of their fighters but the sport overall.” So does fighting an Irishman in Ireland generate any more pressure for Harris? He doesn’t seem to think so. “I think the pressure will be on Neil more than me. He will be wanting to perform in front of his fans.”

UFC Fight Night 46 takes place on 19th July and being so close the dreaded weight cut is well underway, but Harris prides himself on his weight management which hasn’t been a particular issue for the Flyweight fighter in the past. “When I got on the scales on the 1st of June I was 67kg and that was about seven weeks out from fight night. Today which is a week away from weigh ins, I weigh 63kg (the fight is at Flyweight which is 57kg) so I am right on track.”

Harris is an extremely experienced fighter having amassed 35 fights in the ten plus years that he has been competing professionally but he feels that there is still more to come from the old dog (if being 31 makes you old)yet. “I feel that I am in my prime. I have got plenty of fights left in me.” Harris has had many highlights in his career but would a win over Neil Seery in Ireland go one better than that? Harris certainly thinks so. “So far the sole highlight was probably beating Ulysses Gomez in London. But this one will top that!” will be keeping you up to date in the run up to UFC Fight Night 46 so be sure to follow us on facebook ( and twitter (@WHOATV)

Be sure to follow Phil on twitter @Philharrismma

Phil would like to thank “All at GYM01, Smuggling Duds, JY Nutrition, Funky Gums, Intensi FM, Torque and his wife Deb.”

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