Calvin “Hollywood” Harbaugh is quickly establishing himself as a prospect to watch in his native Michigan. Three impressive wins — including two first-round finishes — and his next fight is against Mike Thompson for the vacant Lights Out Championship amateur bantamweight title. Before he’s back in action at Lights Out 4 on June 29 in Grand Rapids, he spoke with FightBook MMA.
How did you find MMA in the first place?
That’s a good question. My dad got me into jiu-jitsu at a very young age and, soon after that, I got into wrestling. Ever since I was young, my dad wanted me to be a fighter, and that’s what’s happened. I wrestled a lot as a kid, did a lot of jiu-jitsu, was a multiple-time national champion. I got in some trouble when I was in high school, but I found my back into the sport I love, and since then my whole story has been one about God and redemption. I’m very blessed to be where I am.
So you’ve been preparing to be a fighter your whole life, basically?
Yes sir. It was a year-round thing from a young age. Like I said, I got burned out in high school. But I found my way back to the sport after a little bit. It’s a family thing. I want to do my best not just for my family, but for my family at the gym as well. It’s very important to me; it’s my entire life. I’ve got some natural talent, but I’m doing well because I’m so committed to the sport.
How do you feel about what you’ve accomplished so far?
I feel pretty good. I’ve been an underdog in all of my fights. My first bout was against a really strong competitor and I finished him in 30 seconds. My second fight was against a 2-0 Michigan Top Team product. A lot of people counted me out of that, but it was quick work. My last fight was against a guy who’s 7-2, and I won it via unanimous decision. I’ve only taken one strike in three fights. I’m happy, but it’s never enough. A lot of great things are coming together, and I want to show in this fight that I’m a complete fighter.
Does fighting for the Lights Out Fight championship add anything to the equation?
Of course it does. Not that I wasn’t training really hard every day anyway, but it’s a five-rounder. I’ve been doing a lot more running for this training camp. I totally expect to go out there and end the fight early, but I want to be prepared for anything. Anything can happen, so I’m just preparing myself the best I possibly can. Plus there’s always more eyes on a title fight. I may even get to hold the mic when I win, so I just don’t want to screw anything up, you know what I’m saying (laughs)?
(Laughs) What’s the most likely outcome for this fight?
First-round TKO. I want to throw some hands in this fight, and I want to show everybody the things I’ve been working on. I’m a very dangerous fighter, so I see it ending in the first round.