Dhafir Harris Gets First Win and Blood On His Shoulder

Rumble at the Rock 2
Hard Rock Live, Hollywood
Friday, March 5, 2010

Better Than: A $50 Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino players club card.

Dhafir Harris sat near the door to the fighters waiting room just outside the Hard Rock Live's main staging area. A black  hoodie draped over his high-top Mohawk, Miami ghetto rap music blasts from his ear buds. Usually loquacious, Harris - aka Dada 5000 - doesn't say a word. He just stares blankly in front of him as the combatants around him stretch out their muscles. 

Nearby Rakontur director Billy Corben and his film crew recorded the scene for the documentary "Dawg Fight." Kimbo Slice, the Perrine native who paved the way for Harris and other street fighters to get paying gigs, is in the house too.

The behemoth Palmetto High graduate and his entourage take up an entire row in front of the fighting cage. Once upon a time, Harris was part of Slice's crew. Shortly after 10 p.m., Harris makes his way to the octagon. He stares down his opponent, Cedric James, who is at least one foot shorter than Harris but has the same amount of body mass.

Harris and James brawl for two rounds, exchanging vicious blows to the delight of the bloodthirsty crowd. Slice and his posse are on their feet, screaming at both fighters. Harris finishes off James with a nasty left hook. James falls and doesn't get up. A winded Harris catches his breath against the cage's chainlink.

While I'm happy to see Harris succeed, he is far from being able to go toe-to-toe with a fighter with true MMA skills. He put on a good show, but if he is going to lead backyard fighters by example, Harris has to get serious about learning martial arts so he can have a good ground game. 

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I really don't understand why local MMA event promoters insist on mimicking WWE-style antics. In between one of the bouts, a Cuban American street fighter from Hialeah who calls himself "White Boy" got on the microphone to proclaim his desire to fight Rene "Level" Martinez, who wasn't even in the building. But one of Level's sparring partners was on hand who warned White Boy about "running his mouth."

Random Detail: Former Dolphins quarterback Daunte Culpepper was also there, but no one seemed to care.

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.