Walt Harris Aims For April Octagon Return After Devastating Death Of Stepdaughter

Photo Credit: UFC

UFC heavyweight contender, Walt ‘The Big Ticket’ Harris is targeting a return to action in April – following the disastrous death of his stepdaughter, Aniah Blanchard, in November of last year.

Harris – who was scheduled to headline UFC Fight Night D.C. against decorated striker, Alistair Overeem, was eventually forced to withdraw from the December card and was replaced by Jairzinho Rozenstriuk. Harris has returned to training at Straight Blast Gym Alabama, and according to his manager, Jason House – the 36-year-old is planning on making his first Octagon walk since June, in April, as told in a recent interview with MMA Fighting.

Walt’s (Harris) is back in the gym,” House told MMA Fighting. “He’s training very hard at his gym, SBG Alabama. We’re looking at an April return right now. He’s excited to get back in the Octagon.

Ibraheem Yazeed was arrested and subsequently charged with the murder of Aniah Blanchard in November, following the discovery of her remains in a wooded area. It’s believed prosecutors will call for the death penalty to be brought against Yazeed who has a number of prior convictions and was released on bond having been charged with assault of a man during the time of the kidnapping and murder.

Harris is currently riding a two-fight win streak, following knockout victories over Sergey Spivak, and veteran grappling ace, Aleksei Oleinik – and holds the #9 rank amongst his heavyweight peers. As of yet an opponent for Harris is yet to be finalized, but a targeted April return could see him feature on UFC Fight Night 172 on April 11th., with a venue or location yet to be confirmed by the promotion. The second possible date for Harris’ return in April is the following week of the 18th., at UFC 249 in Brooklyn, New York.

On his official Instagram account, Harris posted a fan-made poster for a potential UFC Fight Night Birmingham card, where he featured alongside UFC middleweight and light heavyweight contender, Eryk Anders.


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