Former UFC light heavyweight prospect Gerald Harris (18-4) will return to the big stage against Japanese veteran Kazuhiro Nakamura (15-10) at DREAM 17: World Bantamweight GP. The bout has been verbally agreed upon and contracts are expected to be finalized soon, according to reports.
Harris stormed his way into the public conscious in 2010, kicking off his run in the UFC with three consecutive knockout victories, including two -- a smashing of John Salter in his promotional debut and a slam of Dave Branch at UFC 116 -- that garnered Knockout of the Night bonuses. However, the ride soon came to an abrupt halt after the 31-year-old suffered an uninspired decision loss to Maiquel Falcao at UFC 123, and was subsequently cut from the organization's roster. Since then Harris has hit the regional scene, last fighting at Tachi Palace Fights 9, where he claimed a decision win over Anthony Ruiz despite breaking his hand.
A veteran of Pride, UFC, and Sengoku, Nakamura is a journeyman judoka known by fans for his wild antics, both inside the ring and out. Despite being naturally undersized, the 32-year-old has fought many of the biggest names of the sport, including Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio Rua, Josh Barnett, and Lyoto Machida. Nakamura is currently riding a two-fight win streak, though his last appearance was over a year ago when he claimed a unanimous decision victory over Karl Amoussou at DREAM 15.
DREAM 17: World Bantamweight GP will be held September 24th at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. It is headlined by a foursome of quarterfinal matchups for the DREAM bantamweight tournament.