Note: All quotes and material were obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report through a one-on-one between Luke Harris and Bleacher Report's Riley Kontek.
In this episode, Olivier Aubin-Mercier celebrated his win while Jake Matthews experiences the feeling of losing. Everyone knows that there's a lot riding on this competition, so taking a loss is hard. Richard Walsh says, "take the positives from a loss and that's great advice for anyone."
This week's fight is Vik Grujic vs. myself. I have a lot of respect for Vik. He is a family man with good values. Like all of us, he's worked very hard to get to this point. It's an honor to fight someone like that.
It was pretty cool to have a visit from Cung Le and Jon Jones, although Jones was supporting the wrong team. This competition really is six-to-seven weeks of pure dedication. It was crazy to hear that Jon Jones tried out for TUF and didn't make it onto the show. It just shows me what a huge opportunity just being here really is.
The welterweight situation is getting interesting with three Canadians; Kajan, Oli & Chad are all in the semifinals. Two will have to face each other in the semis. It will be difficult for teammates potentially having to choose sides and corners.
Going into this fight, I know it's a great matchup for me. I've faced and beaten lots of opponents with similar skill sets to Vik. I know Zein Saliba has beaten Vik and I'm very confident that this is my fight. My goal is to go for the finish at all costs, as always when I fight.
My teammates know my ability and I appreciate Kajan, Chad, Oli and Patrick Cote speaking so highly of me. The fight didn't go well for me. I came out flat-footed with my hands low and wasn't feeling like myself. Mentally, I was prepared, but physically I was feeling very off. There are always circumstances that occur outside the cameras, but they don't really matter when you step into the cage. In the fight, I got clipped with a hook then looked to clinch. I was attempting to throw, and in the process my head hit the ground on the takedown. I was flashed and that was all she wrote. I was out when I got elbowed. That's just the way it goes sometimes.
I started my MMA career at the age of 28 and I had lots of people tell me that I was too old to start. I always had a lot of drive and I knew that I could be successful at it. I have an unrelenting passion for this sport. It was a dream of mine to challenge myself as an MMA fighter and eventually, fight in the UFC. Along the way I've had lots of ups and downs. I tore my ACL, which required surgery and sidelined me for quite some time. I fractured my orbital and sustained countless other injuries, but I've also had lots of success; started a successful MMA gym, earned a Black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, won 10 pro fights against tough competition, trained and coached many fighters and made some incredible friends along the way.
A loss teaches you a lot about yourself. It's not my first loss and I'm sure it won't be my last. The challenge and the uncertainty of victory vs. failure is a big part of why I fight. I also fight for my team and my family.
Over the years I realize that it's more about the journey than the result. I've had my hand raised in victory many times, but this was not my day. I respect my opponent who got the better of me that day. I have great respect for any man who steps into the cage with me. This opportunity has been an amazing experience that I've been very fortunate to have been a part of. I've had an incredible time and met some incredible people. We'll have to see where this takes my MMA career. I still train everyday and don't see that changing anytime soon. Thank you for support and please know that win, lose or draw, I love what I do.
Stay humble. Live life to the fullest.
**Tune in next week to hear Luke's thoughts on the continued tension between teams, more in-depth stories from the house, and his thoughts on the fight between Jake Matthews and Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Follow Luke on Twitter@HayabusaHarris and follow his gym @Hayabusa_TC.