Outside The Cage: Ian Harris Talks MMA and Stand Up Comedy

Ian Harris, the head coach, and founder of Fight Science always had a passion for two things in his life, comedy and martial arts, and surprisingly, they go together quite well. It’s his skepticism that has helped in both areas, always looking for more information to help him and others.

I’m a skeptic, I’ve been involved in the skepticism movement for a long time, I’m an atheist, I don’t believe in things until you can prove them scientifically, factually with evidence,” said Harris. “So, I’m that way with everything. If you’ve got a new weight loss program, I want to see scientific, blind studies showing me that it’s effective, that it works and it’s safe.”

My comedy kind of comes from that. I look at things people believe like Bigfoot, astrology, ghosts religion and all these various things that people believe that are completely not backed in science. They make me laugh.”

Dec 12, 2017 this is available for rent or purchase on Amazon, iTunes, GooglePlay and most VOD sites. Please give it a watch and a positive review is you enjoyed it. If you don't enjoy it, well then no need to waste any more of your time giving it a review. 🙂 (Direct links)iTunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/ian-harris-extraordinary/id1314763174Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0785TX6GW

Posted by Ian Harris on Saturday, February 25, 2017

Though it would seem that would lead to problems for him with fighters it hasn’t. The honesty and evidence-based training have resulted in excellent results. Terrion Ware was signed by the UFC, Vince Cachero is undefeated and fighting for promotions such as LFA and CXF and Harris has trained with the likes of Mac Danzig and Dan Hardy before opening Fight Science.

Harris is originally from San Francisco and has been doing comedy as a full-time job since 1996, before moving to Los Angeles permanently in 2000. His first attempt at performing in San Francisco failed because the bar wouldn’t allow him to perform since he was under 21. Since then he has made appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Comedy Central.

Now he has a special out called ExtraOrdinary, a play on words that’s common in the skeptic community.

There is a phrase in skepticism that says extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

“I have a joke about that claim, about the phrase, extraordinary is a wordplay thing,” said Harris. “Like extraordinary, unbelievable, incredible, and how they mean one thing, but when you actually break down the word they actually sound like the opposite of what they mean.”

ExtraOrdinary differs from Harris’ previous special, Critical, and Thinking because it is meant to be more mainstream, however, there is the underlying message of the ridiculousness of science denial.

“It occurs on the left, it occurs on the right,” said Harris. “There is this thing where people just deny science. We see it in climate change, we have 98% of the experts in the world agreeing on climate change and we still have sixty percent of Republicans, they don’t believe it, well it’s not up for belief.”

Ian Harris (second from the right) with MMA Roasted, AKA Adam Hunter (right) | Twitter

What also can’t be denied is the connection comedy has to mixed martial arts. Lately, many top fighters including UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, and UFC veterans Leslie Smith and Tom Gallicchio, have all taken the stage to dish out a few jokes. The most obvious connection between comedy and fighting is Joe Rogan, but Adam Hunter, known to many as MMA Roasted, and former UFC fighter Brendan Schaub, have made themselves well known on the comedy circuit, mixing in a few MMA barbs into their routines. In fact, even Dana White’s Lookin’ For a Fight did a segment featuring stand up performances from the stars of the show.

Harris agrees that there is a connection between the two because of the nature of the industries.

“I was thinking about doing a documentary about how similar comedy and MMA was.

“When you think about it, it makes sense,” said Harris. “you’re responsible for everything when you’re on stage. You’re responsible for writing the jokes, you’re responsible for telling the joke, you’re up there by yourself. And same thing with fighting, you’re in the cage by yourself, you’re responsible for your weight cut. It’s a very individual thing.”

“There’s definitely a connection.”

One of Harris’ goals is to do a tour following a promotion such as the UFC or Bellator from city to city, performing for their fans. Another is to film a documentary about the connection between fighting and comedy. In the meantime though, you can watch ExtraOrdinary on most VOD platforms, Amazon, Google Play, or catch Harris on tour. And Harris has one last message for his fans:

If you like it please leave a positive review. If you didn’t like it, please keep that to yourself, no one cares about your opinion anyway.”

Here is a link to Ian Harris’ new special ExtraOrdinary: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0785TX6GW

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