| BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio invited Bellator Fight Master competitor and undefeated MMA fighter, “The Phoenix” Nick Barnes, onto the show to discuss his experience on the show. Barnes is 6-0 in his professional MMA career and will be looking to extend that winning-streak as he tries to clinch the first ever Fight Master title. Barnes joined Chase and Kinch on this week’s episode of Late Night Cage Side and here are some of the highlights from that interview:
Barnes was first asked to talk about his overall experience on Bellator’s Fight Master reality show.
“It’s been sick. Over all the whole experience was dope. It just got me around a lot of good fighters,” he replied. “It was awesome being around so much great experience.”
He was then asked to discuss how much stress and anxiety went into the first round of entry fights, which are being aired over the first three episodes of the show. “That whole first fight was just so hectic,” Barnes explained. He also talked about how each competitor was assigned random coaches and corner-men for the entry fight to get onto the show. He told us that he was assigned coaches from Team Shamrock and how that affected his choice in choosing a camp following his win.
“What helped me choose the Shamrock was that I ended up being paired up with the Shamrock assistant coaches and so they really helped me out a lot,” he explained. “The main thing that just kept hitting home with me was just how well the coaches, the coaching staff, how well they did with me. And like I said, just everything they thought, where they wanted their camp to go.”
He then talked about what he hoped to achieve from his appearance on Fight Master. Obviously, the main goal is always to win but, for Barnes, there’s a little more to it than that. “For me, I’m all about improving,” he said. “I definitely wanted to learn as much as I could.”
Now that we know that Barnes chose team Shamrock for his camp Barnes was asked to touch on how the experience with Frank and his coaching staff was. “It was awesome. It was like one of the greatest experiences of my life,” he replied. “I definitely tightened up a lot of the aspects of my game that I needed to tighten up.”
Barnes admitted, though, that heading into the show he was leaning toward a different camp than what he ended up choosing. He stated, “Before I went in there I was really leaning toward Randy. I was really leaning toward the Couture camp.”
The boys at Late Night Cage Side then wanted Barnes to comment on how worried he was about training in a different camp than what he’s used to at home.
“I was definitely worried,” he admitted.“Each fight is only like ten days apart.”
Barnes explained that he was worried about how his camp would handle the situation, trying to help him get better but keeping him healthy and fresh to fight at the same time. It was a new process for everybody involved on the show so Barnes, just like everyone else, was walking in to the show fairly blind as to what to expect.
Barnes was also asked to talk about his training at Undisputed Gym in San Diego where he trains with “War Machine” Jon Koppenhaver. Nick gave his team back home major props and accredited a lot of his early success to the work they’ve put in with him. He explained that iron sharpens iron and that’s exactly what he has in a training partner like Koppenhaver.
“Those are the guys that are really there to push you,” he said. “When we get in there they’re all about taking your head off.”
On another not, Barnes was asked how the experience was in dealing with all of the cameras and having his entire life filmed for 40 days was. He laughed and stated that it was “Bizarre. It was one of the craziest things ever.”
But he made sure to explain that this was not your average reality TV series. He made sure to point out that this show was put together with all the right intentions. When asked to compare it to TUF Barnes said that it was more about the fighting that the partying and characters.
“This show is about fighting,” he said. He continued,“it’s really informative.”
When he was asked how much pressure having each of these fights count on his professional record he admitted that it stack on a little more weight.
“That adds so much more pressure on us” he explained, “especially the first rounds of the fights.”
But he was ok with the fact that these fights counted on his record because he likes the pressure and wants these performances to count. On the levity of each fight he stated that he liked it because,“Whatever you have in Bellator, you earned it.”
Barnes was asked if he knew whether or not any of the fighters that do not win the show will still have the chance to fight for Bellator. “That’s something they never really disclosed with us,” he stated. “That’s definitely something that’s on a lot of guys’ minds.”
He was also asked if it came down to it would he fight his teammate in Koppenhaver, since both men could potentially be fighting for Bellator in the future. “It’s definitely a tricky situation,” he explained. But, he continued, “sometimes you just got to do what you gotta do.”
Barnes also talked about his beginnings in MMA and how he got started.
“Back when I was a kid I used to do karate,” he explained. “I gave it up a little bit through my adolescence and then when got to high school and I started wrestling.”
“After I graduated high school I just wanted to stay in shape so I joined my gym Undisputed in San Diego,” he continued. “I ended up going pro a couple of years ago and then here I am.”
Nick Barnes is getting his first taste of the MMA limelight and he stated that he likes it and enjoys every second of recognition from the fans and media. He stated, “I love the fans. Every second they’re in my life, like every time they message me or just come up to me, I love it. It’s sick.”
Barnes was then asked to talk about his perfect 6-0 MMA record and how much he thought or feared of losing that perfection, especially on a nationally televised show. Barnes shrugged off the assumed pressure and stated that he’s really just focused on getting the next win and tries not to think about his perfect record too much.
“If you start putting things on pedestals,” he explained, “a lot of guys will lose that hunger because they’re so worried about protecting what they have that they lose what the fans liked about them in the first place; that’s that killer instinct, you know?”
And in closing here is what Barnes shouted out to the fans here at BJPenn.com:
“Definitely keep an eye out for. Keep an eye out for my intensity,” he said. “I hope you enjoy the explosiveness.”
We would like to thank Nick Barnes for taking some time out of his schedule to join us on Late Night Cage Side Radio and we look forward to watching him on Bellator’s Fight Master reality show every Wednesday night on SPIKE TV. Check your local listings for times.
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