MMA: From UFC prelims to main events, Harper alumni are showing up and showing out

Former Harper athletes are not only making a name for themselves in mixed martial arts: they’re competing at the highest level of combat on some of the most notable cards in the world.

This past weekend had two nights of action for Harper alumni. On Friday, Will Brooks headlined Titan FC 81 live on UFCfightpass, and Clay Guida opened up the Saturday UFC Main Card live on ESPN. 

And the action doesn’t stop there, as another double-header is coming up this weekend. This Saturday, Curtis Blaydes will be headlining a UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas live on ESPN+. The very next day, Dominic Gallo will make his 2nd walk on APFC 4 live on Youtube and UFCfightpass. 

Meet the fighters

Will Brooks, @illwavybrooks86 on Instagram (photo courtesy of Bellator)

‘Ill’ Will Brooks is a former All-American football player at Harper and a Bellator MMA Grand Prix Champion, Lightweight Champion and UFC veteran. He secured his 5th win in a row this past Friday as he headlined Titan FC 81, a show for one of the largest regional promotions in North America.   


Brooks, 36, retired after the fight. He finished with a storied record of 25-5-1. In his post-fight interview, he proudly reflected on his journey, thanked God and stated that “it just didn’t feel like I had it,” although he had just dominated a scrappy knockout artist from Venezuela and finished the fight with slick striking defense and strong takedowns.


Clay Guida, @clayguida on Instagram (photo courtesy of UFC)

Clay ‘The Carpenter’ Guida is a UFC hall of famer and former Harper wrestler. He opened up the UFC’s Main Card this past Saturday night on ESPN. Although it wasn’t the result that Guida wanted, he didn’t flinch once as he went the full distance with a talented young fighter Rafa Garcia. 

Guida, 42, faked retirement in the cage by taking off his gloves before taking the microphone and declaring: “I tricked you guys, ain’t no way I’m walking away yet.”

The antics didn’t go over well with the brass, but the fans loved it, chanting his name even in defeat.


Curtis Blaydes, @razorblaydes265 on Instagram (photo courtesy of UFC)

Curtis ‘Razor’ Blaydes, 2012 NJCAA Wrestling National Champion for Harper, is making another run at the UFC Heavyweight Title, winning his last three fights in the UFC — all against top 10 ranked fighters! Blaydes, 32, is facing #3 ranked Sergei Pavlovich to secure his shot at the belt this Saturday.

The entire card is broadcasted on ESPN+. The Main Card starts at 6 p.m. CST, which means Blaydes will be making the walk around 8:30-9 p.m.


Dominic Gallo, @the_visig0th on Instagram (photo courtesy of Fight Card Entertainment)

Dominic Gallo, 26, is a former wrestler at Harper. He’s making his second ever walk to the cage three months after dominating in his debut this past January. 

On Sunday, Gallo is competing on Anthony Pettis’ Fighting Championship 4, a large midwest promotion run by UFC legend Anthony Pettis. The card is taking place in Hammond Indiana. (Only an hour drive from Harper – tickets available here.) 

It will also be broadcasted on UFCfightpass and APFC’s Youtube page starting at 3 p.m. CST.

If you missed the fights last weekend, you can always rewatch them on the aforementioned websites… but don’t miss the action this weekend!