Top bantamweight prospect Calvin “Hollywood” Harbaugh makes his professional MMA debut at Lights Out Fights 6 on Dec. 14 in Grand Rapids, Mich., LIVE on FITE. Harbaugh steps to the pro ranks after a 5-0 amateur run, with four first-round finishes. Before #LightsOut6, he spoke with FightBook MMA.
What were your goals when you started training?
I wanted to be great. I was in a pretty rough spot in my life and I didn’t have much direction. When I was growing up, I was a pretty good wrestler. But I made a lot of mistakes and I was very misguided. At the time, my buddy’s boss was opening a gym and I decided to head over there. I fell in love with MMA right away and the rest is history unfolding.
How do you feel about what you accomplished as an amateur fighter?
I think everything went according to the plan. I always took the toughest fights and kept proving people wrong. I couldn’t be much happier with how it went. I feel like I’m being carried by God and I’m just happy I haven’t let anyone down. I just want to keep moving forward and inspiring people — that’s why I work. My whole entire family were huge UFC fans growing up. Every Saturday we’d get the UFC PPVs and I want them to be able to see me on the biggest stage. I’m extremely, extremely motivated.
Has anything changed now that you’re a professional fighter?
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There’s a lot more pressure. There are more people in your ear with things to say. But my team hasn’t changed and the things they’ve been saying hasn’t changed. Now the fights count. It’s easy to get excited for a cage fight; it’s one of the most motivating things in the world. But the pressure now is much greater. I’ve got a big chip on my shoulder. I’ve been on the top and on the bottom, I’ve been first and I’ve been last. I’m just always trying to be the hardest-working guy in the room and lead by example. The expectations have changed, but not for myself. I’ve always wanted to be the best and prove myself as that.
What’s the most likely outcome for this fight?
I like my opponent. I think he’s a good guy and a solid fighter. But I’ve been finishing fights in the first round for as long as I can remember. I see a first-round finish, no doubt. That’s ideal, but I’m going to get the win by any means necessary. I’m ready to go for the kill for 15 minutes. I’m ready for anything.
Where would you like to be one year from today?
I’d like to be signed to one of the top promotions. I envision myself having four or five fights this year with Lights Out. I love Mr. and Mrs. Frendo and everything they’ve done, but the goal is certainly to represent on the international stage. From the beginning I wanted to make a good living and make my name from MMA; God willing in a year from today I’ll be that much closer to doing that.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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