Josiah Harrell is a lightweight prospect fighting out of Grove City, Ohio. Professionally, he sits at 5-0. Prior to his pro career, he went 6-0-1 as an amateur. He ended his amateur career winning the Ohio Combat League lightweight title. In his most recent (pro) fight, Harrell won the Ohio Combat League welterweight title.
Get to know the “Muscle Hamster” before he’s blowing the doors off in a big promotion…
“I got into MMA by chance, I think I was made for this. I had some people in my life convince me that I needed to be better. I wanted to try something. It was either MMA or going back to college. I ended up making a deal with BJ, my coach, and if I was to lose as an ammy I would go back to college.”
“I wanted to go to college to walk on for Cincy. I had no clue what I wanted to do. I had decent grades but they were declining with no IEP help from Cincinnati. Which is okay, we’re all adults. On some freak chance I got offered to cheer on the team and they knew I wanted to walk in so we pretty much made a deal where they would help me and I would help them. They help me get tutoring and my grades where they should be. What did I help them with? Who knows but they ended up winning a championship that year.”
Harrell has a background in tumbling, cheer, track, wrestling, and football in school before moving on later in life to MMA. It was evident looking at his record that MMA is the right career choice currently thriving as a mixed martial artist.
“I have an ego the size of a manatee. I thought I was always good (at MMA) and I’m waiting on the day where I can fully pursue it.”
“My team is at Grove City BJJ, but I train all over Ohio. I try to get better at any means. My first introduction with my gym was terrible, I’m really bad with first impressions. My first time in the gym was jiu-jitsu, I was rolling with an orange belt and I at the time was a 0-stripe white belt. I had no clue that this kid was a freak. I got my butt handed to me against a 13/14-year-old. After that roll, I thought all the people that did jiu-jitsu were that good. So the next person I went against I ended up going too hard almost hurting the other white belt. I got settled down very quickly. I was so confused. I had other issues with striking class and by the end of the week I for sure thought they would never let me back.”
Harrell started his MMA journey in October of 2018. He fought seven times in one calendar year before turning pro. Harrell, a few months off his last amateur fight he turned pro in March of 2020. He’s been fighting all together for nearly four years only. Improvements have been made with each fight getting better and better.
“I’m a better fighter period. Faster, stronger, smarter if I went against me last year he would have nothing for me. Win, lose or draw, I’m here to get better. Where did I improve the most? Striking. People are not ready.”
“If you have never seen me fight, you should except some poor human get acquainted with the earth.”
“My goal is to be able to quit my second job as a delivery boy for FedEx. Whichever promotion is smartest will get me sooner than later. The Contender Series with me in it should excite the UFC. I’m not normal, I’m not this up-and-coming generation talent where they all need to be dick heads to sell. My illiterate ass will put people in the seats. With my personality, people will hate me and people will love me. Either way, I’m getting people in the seats.”
“It’s a joke like most things I say. Shits funny, ‘Who did that to your face?'”
“His name was ‘Muscle Hamster’.”
“Without MMA I would be somewhere on a beach still being successful with sales, go back to college, join the army. There are so many avenues that I can do. I’m not limited, like most. I want to do this shit, I don’t have to. This path just has the most potential out of the others and I like that. Plus, even if it doesn’t work out I can still do all of those things in my 30s. I’m 23 and I want it all. After I become a champ, I would like to get into acting, get my degree, maybe dabble in science, be a dad, own some businesses, and have a family. My goals never started with fighting and they won’t end with fighting.”
Reason to Fight?
“I fight for my future kids. I fight because it’s part of my path. A hero can’t have the perfect story without conflict. Fate lead me on this path and it will let me know when I should move on.”