Combat Vision MMA were lucky enough to conduct a Q&A interview with BAMMA lightweight champion and MMA Academy Fighter Tim Barnett. Tim will make the first defence of his belt at BAMMA 29 on May 12th 2017 against Mario Saeed.
Thanks for taking the time to speak to Combat Vision MMA, Time. Could you tell our readers about your journey as a professional MMA fighter?
“It started when I was working in a bookies, training, fighting and boxing. I was surrounded by negativity and just wanted more, so I chased the goal of MMA and I eventually got out of my job to go after my goal in life. At first, I never thought I could go professional. But, everyday I was at the gym I was having fun and enjoying training so much, that I became obsessed.”
You won the belt against Rhys McKee at BAMMA 28. Finishing Rhys with strikes inside the first round. What was the strategy heading into the fight and were you surprised how quickly you finished him?
“I didn’t really have a strategy. I’m more of a reaction fighter, I like to act in the moment instead of planning on what’s coming next. I think if you live in the future, it causes anxiety whereas when you are grounded to the present, you make fast and smart decisions. I always try and be present when fighting and planning. I wasn’t surprised though, I feel nobody can match the intensity I bring pace wise.
How did it feel to get your first professional title around your waist?
“It felt great getting the BAMMA belt. I’m really proud of myself to have gotten where I am. But, I’m not stopping here I want to go all the way and achieve the goal I have set for myself”
Three of your professional fights have been finished inside the first round by either TKO or KO. Is it fair to say that striking and keeping the fight on the feet is where you feel most comfortable in a fight?
“I wouldn’t say most comfortable, as I feel I’m a complete martial artist and can fight anywhere. But, it’s certainly where I’m having the most fun and someone having fun is a hard person to beat”
You will be defending your belt against Mario Saeed at BAMMA 29. You won the belt in February and you will defend it in May. Was it the plan to defend so quickly or would you have liked more time to prepare?
“I always want to fight as regularly as possible, so the timing was just right. After this one, I will be having a little break, let my body get back to 100% and settle from all the learning and training”
How will you deal with the mental pressure of defending your belt for the first time?
“There won’t be any pressure for me. We create our own pressure and I certainly won’t be adding any of that to my life or a situation I’m in. I’ll go in and give a 100% like I always do and there is nothing more I can do than that”
What do you think of Mario Saeed’s fighting style and is there anything you will be looking to exploit come fight night?
“I’ll just be looking to go in and enjoy myself. Very few people get to face fears and leave their comfort zone in life, so while I’m doing it, I will be trying my best to enjoy it. Why waste an opportunity and one day look back and think I should have had more fun. I try and relish the chance to grow as a person”
You have not been defeated in your professional career. What does a training camp consist of for you, to ensure you a continually improving in all aspects of the fight game?
“Mainly going in the gym and being grateful to train with such talented people who have my best interests at heart. It’s rare in life to be surrounded by such positivity and people chasing goals. We all try and better ourselves as martial artists, everyday and that’s always what the camp consists of! More knowledge, more challenges and more growth”
Lastly, what does 2017 have in store for Tim Barnett?
“I want to fight 5 times this year. After this fight, 2 more times and really show people what I’m about as a fighter and as a person! But, I have no doubts, at the end of this, I will have achieved my goals in the sport and in life.”