Combat Vision MMA spoke to Tim Barnett after it was announced he would be defending his Lonsdale lightweight title against Richie Smullen at BAMMA 32, Dublin. This will be Tim’s second defense. In his first defence at BAMMA 29, he knocked out Mario Saeed in round one. Tim heads into BAMMA 32 with a perfect (5-0) record all of them being first round finishes.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to Combat Vision MMA, Tim. Could I get your thoughts on the announced fight with Richie Smullen at BAMMA 32 in Dublin.
“Thanks for having me. I am over the moon to finally have a fight signed. I wanted to fight on the London card but there was no space left. I am happy to again be heading to hostile territory to show what I have added to my game. You will all see yet again an improved martial artist on November 10th”
How did the fight with Richie come about and was there an idea the winner of Smullen vs McKee would be your next opponent.
“I thought I would be facing the winner of the two on the London card. However, when the draw came about everything was up in the air. I am glad to be fighting Smullen, he provides a new puzzle that I get to figure out. It is an exciting match up with two opposing styles”
Looking at Richie Smullen’s last performance against McKee. Richie showed a lot of heart and tenacity in that fight. From your own tape study with your coaches what are your thoughts on his fighting style and how will you go about taking the fight away from him early on.
“I feel both of us have had an advantage. Smullen because he’s just fought a 6ft2 striker which is identical to my frame and myself because I got to see how he did against someone with my frame. I will impose my game as I always do. He has just come out of the hardest fight of his life against someone I finished within 5 minutes. I know if he leaves himself vulnerable in positions like he did against McKee then he’s done against me”
To win your BAMMA lightweight title you have had to go to Ireland before and spoil a party. How much confidence does this give you heading into BAMMA 32 and carrying out this process for the 2nd time.
“It’s a new day, a new fight and a new challenge. So, I don’t really think about or focus on the past. My belief in my skill set, training partners and coaches is all the confidence I need every single fight”
Both yourself and Richie have the ability to end a fight quickly inside the first round. What can the fans attending BAMMA 32 look forward to you in your fight.
“You will see me impose the most improved and dangerous set of skills I have brought to the table yet. I have improved every single fight and my finishes have got more dominant. Be ready for my best work to date”
BAMMA 32 takes place on the same night as Bellator Dublin. When it was spoken to you about fighting on this card were you behind the idea more because of the exposure this would give you fighting on a co-promotion event.
“Yes. I am looking forward again to fighting on the same night alongside some of the world’s elite as that’s exactly where I will end up in a few more fights. I am ready to mix it with the best now and a few more dominant wins and stoppages and I am there. It’s all about getting that exposure now for me”
Looking back at your first defense win against Mario Saeed where you knocked out Mario inside the first round. How much of that performance was down to the game plan formulated in camp.
“To be honest it wasn’t part of a game plan. I was just flowing with what was taking place. A lot of my martial arts study lies in the mental and spiritual approach, as well as the physical. I study Bruce Lee etc and to flow in a fight really is the key. Anywhere the fight goes and at anytime I know I pose that threat of a finish. I believe you will see one again in November.
When the fight with Richie arrives you will have been out of the BAMMA cage for 6 months. Has there been any frustration for you being out that length of time. Or was it down to resetting the body and letting it recover from the previous 2 fights.
“I have had 3 fights already this year. Smullen will be my 4th, so the rest did me good and enabled me to work on areas of my game that needed improving. I have still trained hard, still learning and still treated my body like a true professional should. The time off will only make me more hungry and dangerous”