Walt Harris to confront Alistair Overeem in the first battle since stepdaughter’s demise

A UFC heavyweight will come back to competition for the first time since an exceptionally advertised family tragedy.

Walt Harris will meet Alistair Overeem in the main event of UFC Portland on April 11 in Oregon, the promotion declared Saturday night during the UFC 247 broadcast.

Harris’ stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard went missing in October and she was discovered dead of a gunshot wound in November. A 30-year-elderly person is confronting capital murder kidnapping accuses in connection with her passing. The MMA community united behind Harris and his family before the end of last year, with UFC president Dana White and UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones putting $25,000 toward the reward fund for data about Blanchard’s disappearance.

Harris (13-7, 1 NC) should battle Overeem in the main event of UFC Washington, D.C., in December, however, pulled back to be with his family. The Alabama native is unbeaten in four straight battles. Harris, 36, is coming off a 12-second knockout win over Aleksei Oleinik last July.

Overeem (45-18, 1 NC) battled on the Washington card, falling by knockout with only four seconds staying in the bout to Jairzinho Rozenstruik. The Netherlands native was on a two-battle series of wins going into that session.

Overeem, 39, is one of MMA’s best heavyweights ever, a previous Strikeforce and Dream heavyweight champion.

A key ladies’ strawweight session between the previous hero Carla Esparza and Michelle Waterson was additionally declared for UFC Portland. It will be the UFC’s first trip to Oregon since 2016.

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