There’s no denying that 2018 was one of the most productive years in heavyweight Walt Harris’ career.
Coming off of two straight losses in 2017, Harris was able to rebound in 2018 with back to back victories over Daniels Spitz and former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovsky, and get his career back on track.
“I think 2018 was a great year,” Harris told MMAWeekly.com. “I finished on a high note (with the win over Arlovsky). I’m looking to carry that momentum in 2019 for sure.
“I feel like the Daniel fight was a good performance. I feel like the Andrei fight I could have exploited a few more things, but I got the win, and that’s all that really matters to me.”
Harris’ win over Arlovsky ended up being a split-decision in his favor, but he definitely doesn’t feel the fight was that close, and has since worked on his game to ensure it doesn’t come to that again.
“That’s why I say you never let it get to the hands of the judges,” said Harris. “There were times I could have finished the fight. I looked back and saw where I could have capitalized there and there, so we went back into the gym and have been working on that part of the game.
“I’m definitely a more well-rounded fighter. I was just a striker when I first got into the organization. I feel like I can win the fight anywhere now; whether it be wrestling or Jiu-Jitsu or whatever; I’m ready to go wherever the fight takes me for sure.”
On May 4 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Harris (12-7) will look to pick up his third straight victory when he faces Sergey Spivak (9-0) in a main card heavyweight bout at UFC on ESPN+ 9.
“I think it’s a favorable match-up for me for sure,” Harris said. “Sergey is a tough guy, but he’s a newcomer to the organization. To win the fight I just have to be myself.
“I’m prepared to go whether the fight goes. If it goes one round, two rounds, or three rounds, I’m prepared. Be ready for a brand new Walt come May 4 for sure.”
While Harris does have a destination in mind for 2019, he’s going to work towards getting there one step at a time.
“I do have a goal to be world champion,” said Harris. “I feel like 2019 is the year to make that statement. I broke into the Top 15 going out of 2018, and I plan on being in the Top 5 before the year is over.
“I’m chasing goals, but I’m taking it fight by fight. I want to be a champion or at least in that conversation by the end of 2019.”