On June 17, Tim Barnett will return to action at Hexagone MMA 9 at Reims Arena, France. And he’s fighting for much more than mere bragging rights.
From travelling to enemy territory to beat Rhys McKee in front of a partisan crowd in Belfast to claim the BAMMA championship to defeating Sean Carter at Cage Warriors 105, the Liverpudlian has achieved an awful lot in his career. But now, he’s focusing on much more than just his performances in the cage.
Speaking exclusively to Sporf, he explained: “As a race, we are moving towards a pivotal point. When Covid hit, we all shared an idea as one, although we were looking at it through completely different lenses and perspectives.
“Just imagine the positive things we could achieve by coming together like that. Instead, we’re just focusing on this disease when we could concentrate on homelessness and making the world a better place.”
While Barnett possesses talent in abundance, it’s his mindset that separates him from the pack.
He explained: “I believe that it’s all in the mind. So, the reason that I’ve done well in high-pressure fights is because I’ve got my mind right.
“The real gems come from within. We all have issues with self-doubt and self-loathing, and I really want to overcome these things towards the end of my career.”
Tim Barnett wants to fight back against the tide
Determined to express his beliefs, the 33-year-old said: “I think we all go through a parental programme in culture and society, with billions of pounds going into shaping public perception.
“If we behave outside of those parameters, we get judged by our fellow men and women. That keeps us right in the centre where it’s safe, but not really safe.”
“We forget to appreciate the things around us, and so it’s been a beautiful process, going back into fight camp and being deprived of easy-access food and not being able to have the company of my family whenever I want to because it makes their value go up.
“When I approach a fight, I take it as seriously as ‘This is the last thing I ever do. This could be death for me.”
Tim Barnett can’t wait to set foot in the cage at Hexagone MMA 9
On Saturday evening, the warrior takes on French hero Abou Tounkara in a bout that fight fans can’t afford to miss.
And Hexagone MMA title contender Dean Garnett, who competes for the featherweight title on August 4, is buzzing to see his Aspire MMA training partner get a big opportunity.
The contender said: “It’s great to see another teammate and close friend sign with Hexagone MMA for a three-fight deal. I really like the opponent for him. They’re both good all-rounders, to be honest, but I fancy Tim to come back with a bit of a bang. I think he’s the better striker, and we’re doing all the work in the gym right now to keep the fight where he wants it, and where he’s strongest and confident he’s going to get the win. I’ll probably be back in France cornering him, so it’s exciting, and it’s really good to be a part of the rise of MMA in France.”
But while Barnett is confident, he’s not overlooking his fearsome opponent.
He explained: “I’m going to go into that moment and treat it like it’s the last thing I’m ever gonna do on this planet. And if it is? I love it, and I’ve given my very best and thank God.”
Fans can watch the eagerly-anticipated collision on Saturday night live and exclusively on BT Sport.
Featured Image Credit: Tim Barnett