In a few seconds, Andre Harrison went from a dominating performance to a devastating defeat in the Professional Fighters League Playoffs.
Freeport’s Harrison was finished for the first time in his professional career, losing by submission via ninja choke against Alex Gilpin at 1:49 of the second round in a featherweight quarterfinal on Thursday at PFL 8 in Las Vegas.
The loss eliminated Harrison (21-2-1) from the PFL playoffs, ruling him out of this year's title and $1 million prize on New Year's Eve. Gilpin will face last season’s champion Lance Palmer in the semifinals later Thursday evening.
Harrison controlled the pace and tempo of the fight in the first round, winning it 10-9 all on all three judges' cards. But not long into the second of two scheduled rounds, with Harrison working on a takedown against the cage, Gilpin managed to secure his arms around Harrison’s neck. He slipped his right arm underneath Harrison's chin, and then brought his left around, maintaining the choke as the fight went to the canvas. Harrison turned his body in an attempt to escape, but Gilpin wound up on top, and Harrison soon went limp as he lost consciousness.
Harrison dominated the fight on the stat sheet, landing 46 strikes over nearly seven minutes of action, while Gilpin landed just two strikes in 15 attempts. Gilpin (14-2), however, did enough at the right time to stay alive in the postseason.
"I'm never out of a fight," Gilpin said afterward.
This is the second loss of Harrison's career, both in PFL playoff bouts. His first defeat came via unanimous decision against Palmer in a semfinal bout last year. He was 1-0-1 in the regular season, beating Peter Petties via unanimous decision and fighting to a majority draw against Movlid Khaybulaev.