Chris Barnett reveals 30 hours before Martin Buday fight he had to make a decision on his sick wife, thanks Dana White for calling and taking care of him
Chris Barnett wishes he never fought Martin Buday back in April.
Throughout the entire training camp for the Buday fight, his wife was battling encephalitis and unfortunately, she later passed away in May. With his wife in the hospital, Barnett says some days he wouldn’t get any training in, and on fight week, he got a phone call from the hospital that he needed to make a decision which caught him by surprise.
Even after getting the news, Chris Barnett decided to take the fight anyway which he lost by technical decision. He admits he wasn’t in the right mindset and after the loss, Dana White had called him and took care of him after hearing the news.
“I don’t know if you know but my wife had passed away. They called me 30 hours before the Buday fight saying I needed to make a decision,” Barnett said on an upcoming episode of Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I was like, ‘huh, what do you mean?’ When I left she was fine and now this is popping up. With all that going on that camp wasn’t a camp man. She went to the hospital, on February 8 and was in the hospital until May 10. Training wise I would get maybe a good two hours in a day and then I was in the hospital the entire time. It was one of those things, a lot of fighters (would’ve pulled out).
“Dana White also called me and cussed me out. He was like ‘dude, why would you take it.’ I told him I didn’t want to but I also understand I see people pull out and I see what y’all say,” Barnett continued. “Even with something of that magnitude, I shouldn’t have fought, because I know I wasn’t getting the training but I signed that contract. Once we sign that contract, life is going to happen and it is what it is, I hate to say it like that but that’s what a lot of outside people look at. You sign the contract, and unless you get hurt they don’t care, that’s technically what the contract says.”
During the fight, Barnett says he didn’t even think about his strategy or the bout. Instead, the entire time he was in the Octagon was thinking about his wife and his family and how his kids would handle the news.
Even though Barnett took the fight and ultimately lost, his focus still stayed on getting home and getting back to his wife. When he did get home, Dana White called him and Barnett says the UFC boss helped him out on the side which he is grateful for. He also says he will always have a ton of respect and love for White for everything the UFC president did for him and his family.
“Dana is always invited to the BBQ because he called me, he didn’t have to. He called me and was like ‘why, are you alright? Let me know if you need anything’ type of thing. He knows I’m not the type of person to ask for anything but he still did stuff on the outside,” Barnett said. “A lot of time when fighters talk about pay and all this other stuff, I just don’t understand because they take care of us, well they take care of me. Win, lose or draw, he didn’t have to make that phone call and he did. He went through a couple of channels to find me and get ahold of me, so that right there adds so much more to it. Like ‘damn, he cares.'”
After taking some time with his family, Chris Barnett is set to return to the Octagon at UFC 279 against Jake Collier. It will be the first fight without his wife and he says he is using that as motivation as he has a completely new drive and motivation to earn both pay cheques to look after his family.
“The kids have been my drive for everything. It’s different. As long as they are good, I’m good and during those first phases of it, it was tough,” Barnett concluded. I’d go pick up my son from school because he was crying, it was tough… There is a different drive, there is a different motivation for this one.”
This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM
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