Posts Tagged ‘Leeroy Barnes’
Barnes vs. Sutherland
It’s less than a week out from when Europe’s leading MMA promotion, BAMMA, will deliver some of the best ultimate fighting the planet has on offer. On September 15, Wembley Arena is set to host a packed-to-the-gills BAMMA 10 card, and helping to make this MMA extravaganza the HUGE show that it is guaranteed to be is the broadside between middleweight gladiators Leeroy Barnes 10-9-0 and Denniston Sutherland 17-8-0.
Despite being a veteran of three BAMMAs, including the last two, MMA fans never know what to expect from Leeroy Barnes because he continues to evolve and improve at a staggering rate – the Barnes who fought at BAMMA 9 would have annihilated the BAMMA 8 Barnes, and BAMMA 10’s Barnes is bound to be a far superior model to anything we’ve seen from Leeroy in the past.
On September 15, Leeroy will be taking on the more experienced Denniston Sutherland, but Barnes only wants to throwdown with the finest in the business and prove, as he did against Matt Ewin, that he can stand and deliver with the best of them.
It’s always a pleasure for Knucklepit to catch up with Leeroy Barnes and chat with him about his upcoming bouts.
Leeroy, how did you feel when you first found out your opponent for BAMMA 9 would be Matt Ewin instead of the injured Nick Nembhard?
I didn’t really find out, we asked for him. Jude (Samuel) offered me a couple of last-minute guys with really small records as it was just under two weeks out and obviously it was a push to find great opponents at that length of time. Jude mentioned Matt Ewin in passing, I’m sure as a joke (laughs), and we jumped on it and pushed for the Ewin fight. It really lit my fuse at the end of a long hard camp as he’s one of the best to come from the UK and I was a big fan in my early years of the sport. It was just the kind of fight we were after.
Did you have to make a lot of adjustments to your preparation for Matt?
Barnes vs. Nembhard
Anyone following the world of MMA would know Leeroy Barnes is one of the most colourful characters in the game, and he’s definitely not backward in sharing thoughts regarding his opponents. Of his upcoming bout at BAMMA 9, Leeroy said on Facebook, “Too Strong, Too fast, Too Powerful, Too fit and Too good looking for Nick Nembhard!! And I’m still almost 7 weeks out. Amazing session tonight! You’re all going to see something special come March 24th at the NIA in Birmingham.”
But Barnes is always prepared to back up his talk with brutal workouts and total commitment in the cage.
In another Facebook entry, Leeroy declared “Those rope climbs were shockingly hard work when I couldn’t feel my hands in the cold and had 20kg of chains hanging off my neck!! On a plus note PB on standing vertical jump!! Almost my shoulder height!! The Extreme S&C record, white man CAN jump! Need to transfer that power back into a double-leg takedown now.”
Despite losing his last bout to Jack Marshman at BAMMA 8, whilst challenging for the Lonsdale British Middleweight Championship, Barnes pressed Marshman, and was the first opponent Jack was unable to stop in his 9-0 career. “It was a good fight,” says Leeroy. “It was the most enjoyable fight I’ve been part of and it was an honour to face Jack. I didn’t do enough in the fight and looking back I’m disappointed in that as I believe I had the ability to beat Jack. It was a big step up in class for me but I was ready.”
The Marshman vs. Barnes title match was an incredibly tough duel and one that will be long remembered by fans. Leeroy is certain Jack didn’t underestimate him as a challenger. “Most people would think so. You only have to look at some of the losses from early in my career to get the wrong impression of what I’m about. I was hoping he would underestimate me but unfortunately for me he didn’t. He worked hard and it showed in the fight. That’s why he holds the title,” says Barnes.
Marshman vs. Barnes
© Marc Wickert www.knucklepit.com
Special thanks to Izzy Carnwath
In the 1990s Guinness launched their stout advertising campaign with the slogan “Good things come to those who wait”, but somehow Leeroy Barnes dodged that one and instead ran with Abraham Lincoln’s advice: “You can have anything you want – if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.”
Leeroy lives MMA. He’s born to compete and is his own hardest opponent, pushing himself to the max every time. Fans just have to check out Barnes’s entries on YouTube to see he’s a man on a mission and very much in charge of his own destiny; pouring blood, sweat and tears into his workouts to ensure his dreams become reality.
Leeroy’s Facebook entry for November 20 read “My week is done, finished, smashed!! Although I thought today was never going to end!! Three sessions in the bank, Dutch Thai drills and MMA sparring and then wrestling down in Leigh with UFC vet Tom Blackledge then back home for 20 minutes of interval swimming sprints in the pool! Doin’ WORK!! December 10th and the NEW WWW!!!”
Knucklepit was fortunate to squeeze in between one of Leeroy’s three-times-a-day training sessions to find out what makes him tick – like an H-bomb, and to ask how his preparation is going for December 10’s BAMMA 8 event.