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Bellator signs Gerald Harris to multi-fight contract despite quick submission loss



Gerald Harris’ return to MMA didn’t exactly go as planned, but the veteran middleweight will get another shot.

A Bellator official today told MMAjunkie that Harris (23-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) has been signed to a multi-fight deal, the terms of which were not disclosed.

“Trust me, the risk was definitely worth the reward in this fight,” Harris told MMAjunkie.

Harris was signed on short-notice to a one-fight deal for Bellator 198, which took place this past Saturday at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., and aired on Paramount.

Harris had been training in anticipation of another return from retirement when he got the call from Bellator. He was sitting on his couch eating a doughnut when Bellator asked him to face Rafael Lovato Jr. (8-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) after John Salter withdrew on the week of the event.

In just 71 seconds, Lovato Jr. caught Harris in an armbar and forced a submission, snapping Harris’ four-fight winning streak on the regional circuit.

“I knew there was a risk of me taking an L,” Harris told MMAjunkie. “I was like, ‘I’m not in the best shape in the world, but I hit hard as (expletive), and I’ve been training. I’m going to go out there and try to knock his ass out.”

Harris still aims to prove he wants to fight in the big leagues. Small shows make him want to retire.

“When you go back to local cards, and you start selling tickets, that kind of hurts your ego,” he said. “And I don’t have an ego.”

Harris is still recovering from a sore elbow – Lovato Jr. visibly hyperextended it with his armbar finish – but hopes to return to the cage sooner than later.

Next time, though, he’d like a full training camp before he gets thrown to the wolves.

For complete coverage of Bellator 198, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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