For heavyweight Scott “The Bear” Barrett, improvement in an area of his game that had been formerly weak might have actually cost him a fight.
This past January in World Series of Fighting, Barrett fought uncharacteristically because he wanted to show off his developing striking against Derrick Mehmen and ended up losing the bout via unanimous decision.
“I got excited with my stand-up and was thinking about other stuff and thought I was going to finish the fight on my feet and forgot how to wrestle,” Barrett said of his loss to Mehmen. “It’s like I had a new bag of toys I wanted to play with and got carried away and didn’t fight the way I normally fight.
“I got caught early and other than that I thought I fought my way back. It was a really good, close fight, but I just started a little bit slow in that fight and am overall happy with my performance in that fight.”
Since the loss in January, Barrett has managed to better balance his skills, which have grown leaps and bounds thanks to joining the famed Blackzilians team full-time almost two years ago.
“We bring in a new guy here and there, but as a team we grow together,” Barrett told MMAWeekly.com.
“You have guys in there making sure that everyone has what they need. You don’t see that a lot in other teams with guys in the gym helping everybody out; usually they get in, get what they need and get out; but here it’s about each other and I love that.”
“I just need to fight smart and play my game,” said Barrett of his bout with Garner. “My stand-up is great now, my wrestling is good, and my jiu-jitsu is coming along, so all I need to do is put it all together.”
Some of the build-up to his bout with Garner has centered around the rivalry between the Blackzilians and American Top Team, however, Barrett is not letting it distract him going into the match-up itself.
“There definitely is (a rivalry) but it doesn’t concern me,” said Barrett. “For me, this is just a fight and has nothing to do with anything (outside it). I’ve got a lot of friends over there (at ATT) so for me it’s not a big deal.”
For Barrett, getting into Titan FC and facing a fighter like Garner could very well be the platform to which he’s able to step up into the biggest stages of MMA in the coming year.
“Titan is getting huge and the way they are pushing guys into the UFC is something that I’ve wanted to be involved in for a long time,” said Barrett. “Kenny’s got a huge record, was an M-1 champion for a while, has some great wins and is a well-known name, so a win over him is big for my career.”