UFC's Walt Harris Discusses 1st Fight Since Stepdaughter's Death: 'I'm at Peace'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2020

OTTAWA, ON - MAY 04:  Walt Harris prepares to enter the Octagon prior to his heavyweight bout against Serghei Spivac of Moldova during the UFC Fight Night event at Canadian Tire Centre on May 4, 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

UFC heavyweight fighter Walt Harris said he's ready for a return to the Octagon for the first time after his stepdaughter, Aniah Blanchard, was found dead in November.

"It's proof that you can go through the worst thing you can possibly think of in your life and bounce back," Harris told TMZ Sports. "I'm so grateful to the UFC, and to the fans, and everybody who's supported me through all of this. And, that's kinda been my motivation, that's why I want to go in there and put a show on for them Saturday night and say thank you."

He added: "There will probably be some tears shed, I'll go ahead and let y'all know right now."

Blanchard was reported missing in October. Her remains were discovered in Alabama with a gunshot wound in November, and Lee County district attorney Brandon Hughes announced capital murder charges had been filed against Ibraheem Yazeed.

"In the interests of public safety, I can say that the investigation has determined Ibraheem Yazeed to be the lone person responsible for Aniah's abduction and her murder and he remains in the Lee County jail without bond," Hughes said. "Mr. Yazeed remains innocent of any charges against him until his guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

Harris will take part in the main event against Alistair Overeem during the UFC on ESPN 9 card Saturday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

"I'm at peace, man. I love her so much, and I'm going to make her proud Saturday night," he said.