After losing for the fourth time on the bounce like many other I was somewhat surprised that Leeroy Barnes would get another chance to fight for Cage Warriors. So fast forward to this coming weekend and he the Blackpool native is set to take on Kyle Redfearn on the Cage Warriors 73 show.
With a current record of 12-14-0-1nc Barnes is in desperate need for a victory on Saturday night more than ever before in his professional career. But what other option does Barnes have if he isn’t able to get the win on Saturday night?
For me if Barnes is to be released from Cage Warriors a return to BAMMA would have been a sensible route for him to pick himself back up. But having burnt his bridges with the promotion he may not be able to regain face with BAMMA so that option could be harder said than done.
Aside from BAMMA there is the likes of Made 4 the Cage and FCC which are based in the North of England and will offer Barnes some stiff opposition. It may feel hard for him to go from the bright lights of main card fights for Cage Warriors to fighting on the top of cards for the smaller promotions but to be able to build yourself back up you need to start somewhere.
While the above is based on the worst case scenario of Barnes loosing on Saturday and being released from Cage Warriors it makes me question what exactly is Leeroy Barnes doing right at Cage Warriors. What exactly does Graham Boylan, Paul Dollery & Ian Dean see in Barnes? The answer I keep coming up with is his willingness to FIGHT!
Now forgive me if that sounds stupid but just look back to his last fight. Barnes was 0-3 in his last three fights and taking on Che Mills. Did he worry about fighting Mills? No. Was he afraid of Mills? No. Did he go in there and do all he could against an opponent who at the time was in a different league to him? HELL YEAH!
Barnes is a very good overall fighter who will attest that he isn’t the best fighter in the world, but is someone who continues to make small improvements in his all-around game with every fight he has. And unlike many other fighters across the globe Barnes is more worried about leaving everything in the cage than the result of the fight and for me that is something which cant be taught.
It’s that toughness and willingness to exert every last drop of energy and determination in the cage which for me makes watching Leeroy Barnes fight a must see. And for a promoter that is what you are looking for in a fighter. Something which may be keeping him at Cage Warriors irrespective of his record.
Another gem which Barnes has mastered is his ability at promoting himself via the various social media platforms.
This may seem like a moot point but definitely a bonus for not only bringing himself sponsors but also for promotion shows and events which is another plus point which Cage Warriors obviously realise.
So whilst Leeroy Barnes may not have the best record in MMA he has an abundance of personality and a pure willingness to entertain and for that regardless of what happens after Saturday night I feel we will see Leeroy Barnes on the UKMMA scene for a long time yet!
Follow Leeroy on twitter @LeeroyBarnes