Luke Barnatt (Return of the BigSlow)
Luke has already targeted some of the best talent the UK has to offer and with his foot in the door at UCMMA and BAMMA, those fights could well be on the horizon. After waiting impatiently, Luke now has a fight lined up against the heavy handed Chris Harman at UCMMA 28 on the 26th of May in the Troxy, Limehouse, London. Luke's camp Tsunami have been having incredible success recently and he is sure to want to continue that. So without further ado, we caught up with the charismatic Bigslow to get his thoughts on everything that is going down in his world.
Addicted: Hey Luke, before we chat about your upcoming fight how are you and how's training been recently?
Luke: Hey brother... Yeah, life is all good. Just got back from a fantastic trip over to Sweden where "The One" got his sub of the night bonus in the UFC victory against DeMarques Johnson. And it was my 24th birthday so we went out and partied in Stockholm with the guys, met some cool dudes out there such as Hector Lombard, Kenny Florian and Brian Stann, which was pretty interesting! Plus all the Team Titan lads were over there supporting Brad who had a fantastic win too. So it was a sweet weekend. I can't think of 3 days together that's been better in a long time!
As for training, I've been coasting a bit with a lack of an opponent. It's a struggle to get motivated without knowing who I'm fighting. So I've been doing 2 sessions a day, trying to develop my ground game a bit more as well as lots of boxing 1on1s and working my new S&C camp with up and coming S&C Extraordinaire`s, Will & Phil, based in Camden. ... my sessions when I'm not taking it serious are very relaxed and usually a lot longer, like 2-3 hour grappling sessions with a few guys, trying out new techniques and working on perfecting the basics. But now I have an opponent, everything becomes a little bit more important and a little less fun! But I still enjoy every day of training; otherwise I'd do something else!
Addicted: Your fight with Lee at BAMMA 9 didn't last long. Do you remember much about it?
Luke: Well yeah I remember the whole thing. It was only 2:36 seconds long and I was so relaxed I remember every detail.
I told everyone leading up to that fight that Lee wasn't at my level, and I'm pretty sure I proved it. You'll not see him on another big show again. He had his chance and it was smashed outta his hands by me.
Felt good to get a finish so quickly and hopefully people take note that I'm in this sport now to make a difference, not just to play around.
Addicted: And how were the celebrations afterwards?
Luke: I missed the after-show party... was too busy doing my own thing, out till 7/8 in the morning dancing to RnB with a few lads & ladies... was great fun! But it was more about the next few weeks food intake! I mean I got fat.. was up to 102kgs of just chocolate cake and booze! But now I'm on a tight diet till the end of the year. I've had my 3 weeks holiday for this year!
Addicted: Ooh diets, best not to mention that word round here. When I saw you in Birmingham you were hanging out with Patrick Vallee. You were asking him about having a roll with him. Did you get the opportunity?
Luke: Funny you should ask that question! Me and Patrick made the joke that we were going to both win in the 1st round and then get a workout afterwards backstage together! But unfortunately he didn't keep up to his end of the bargain, putting on a stellar performance against Punshon but only beating him in Round 2, so he wasn't quick enough.
So we postponed it, and he's actually coming over to Tsunami in early May to train with me and help each other prepare for our next fights. So I'll let you know how that goes soon. But Patrick is a real nice guy and very talented so I'm psyched to have him over in the UK to pick his brain and learn some new stuff.
Addicted: Of course, just a couple of weeks after your fight you got to fly out to Sweden to corner and support your team mate John "The One" Maguire. How was that whole experience and apart from Johns win, what was the highlight of the trip?
Luke: Yeah, obviously this trip was amazing! It feels great to go to the UFC and watch a close friend compete. It makes it seem so achievable, and I honestly find myself looking at the UFC middleweights in a different light, like potential opponents now, rather than superstars! I mean that's a long way off and a lot of tests yet! But that's how my mind works... no one got anywhere thinking small.
The highlight for me, apart from John's success... probably was watching Alexander get such a dominant win in his home town, in front of so many of his countrymen.
I've trained with the guy a few times and he's the nicest most humble guy on the planet. Seeing how he's developed in such a small amount of time inspires me massively. I want that experience. The feeling of being on a main card in front of an arena full of people chanting for you must be unreal.
I hope to train more and more with Alex and we spoke about me heading over there to train with him soon. I just gotta find the time, and it will be fantastic to get some mat time in with him again. But yeah, seeing Alex and meeting his fiancée was a good experience and added to an unforgettable weekend!
Addicted: It sounds incredible, mate. John made us all feel very proud. So the main man Dave O`Donnell has got you a fight lined up with Chris Harman next month. Do you know much about him and if so, how do you see the fight going?
Luke: Yeah, Dave finally found me someone! I know all there is to know about Chris; seen him fight on UCMMA more than once. Everyone who knows anything about MMA knows Chris is nowhere near as technically sound as I am on my feet, in wrestling or on the ground, but the one thing you can say about the guy is he comes to fight and he has the biggest balls on earth. Like two big watermelons hanging between his legs... He will fight at any weight, any time, anywhere and he will come to fight. Perfect example is when he fought Mark Potter at K1! I mean Mark destroyed him, but Chris had heart and had his moments! So Chris has got a punchers chance in our fight. I just have to perform on the night and make sure I make that chance a very slim one!
As for the fight between me and Chris, it'll go however I want it to on the day. I haven't given it much thought yet, but I'm looking to end it quicker than my Bamma debut, and send out a statement that I'm too good to be fighting these guys with negative records.. I want the 5-0 / 6-0 guys out there at MW... they are out there and they are hiding from me... I know it!
Addicted: We know you love to send your opponents a message before your fights, so do you have anything you would like to say to Chris?
Luke: All I have to say is Why?
If you ask yourself that question, deep down you'll understand what I mean.
Why does Chris Harmann fight?
Why would he want to fight me?
Why am I matched up against him?
Why did it take so long to get a match up?
Chris already knows he's lost this fight. Him and I are fighting for different reasons. We have different goals in MMA.. I want to be the best MW to come out of the UK. He wants to pay a few bills and tell his friends he's a "Cage Fighter". I'm the one to watch in this bout, not him and he knows this!
Addicted: The crowd at the Troxy are always very excitable and since your last fight there you have become really well known on the domestic scene, not just for your amusing verbal beat-downs but also for your highly dangerous skill set. How do you think the crowd will react to you?
Luke: I've received a fair amount of hate from people regarding my verbal beat-downs.. but no one says anything bad about me after they've seen me step into the cage.. The way I think about it is, Lions should not worry themselves with the opinions of sheep. If I am disliked for the things I say, so be it! I am the one getting in the cage and taking it to whoever I fight. The people who know me and the people who know about MMA, the other 'Lions' out there, they are not haters. They know I'm talking sense!
I expect to get a fairly good reception from the UCMMA fans! Unless it's full of Ben Callums fans ;) as he's on the card that night as well!
Addicted: You have made it clear that you want tough challenges, and you're hungry to climb that ladder towards title shots. So do you have your eyes on any future match ups at UCMMA?
Luke: Of course! I'm in this sport to win and win big. I want to be the UCMMA MW Champ, The BAMMA MW Champ and whatever other MW champ you can think of! I'm in the sport to climb that ladder and beat the guys out there that matter! The guys others think I can't beat. But I need to take it one step at a time! I want to fight positive records. The amount of times I've said this is getting to me now.
I want to fight tough guys who are at my level. I'm not talking the Tom Watson's out there who I don't deserve to fight yet, I'm talking anyone who's had around 4-8 pro fights who's standing at a positive record... I've got plenty of names I want!
Tell you what I'll give you a list and let's see if we can make any of these happen!
Mark Armstrong (4-0)- http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Mark-Armstrong-49751
Tolly Plested (6-0) - http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Tolly-Plested-61618
There's a few others, but these are the main couple.. I mean undefeated! 4-0 & 6-0 surely they can take me on. I've had less fights than both guys! But no! They wouldn't play ball. That's why these guys are undefeated, because they are out there protecting their record and not taking on challenges!
There's no other MW's at UCMMA I can fight! The next step is Denniston & Bostwick etc! Looks like I'll have to make the jump sooner than later if these fools won't step up to the plate!
The only person who came back with a yes was Chris Harman! Coz the dude will fight anyone. So I'm not happy he's got a negative record, but I appreciate his melon balls!
Other shows have got some great match ups!
Brett Basset (7-3) - http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Brett-Bassett-22937
Brett Sizeland (5-1) - http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Brett-Sizeland-46004
Would love to fight the two Bretts! These guys can fight, and we'd put on fantastic battles for the CWFC fans. I'm sure the Bretts would agree. It's just management issues holding me away from those fights right now. Gotta find time to fight the. CWFC is all over the place and not enough shows in the UK for us guys to meet! But I am looking forward to it when it happens!
And then Bamma! Well everyone haha!
I want to work my way through a few guys... Sam Hooker and maybe another one or two, then the fight I really want is
Jack Marshman (10-1) - http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Jack-Marshman-47545
Get me that British BAMMA MW Title strapped around my waist before the end of the year would be nice! If all goes well and I earn my shot, I'd snap Jude's hand off for it. We will have to wait and see what occurs! Gotta smash Chris Harman in a round before we even think about these fights ;-)
That enough match ups for you LOL... usually the guys say "I'll fight whoever they put in front of me!" And that's right, I'll fight whoever is in front of me, but these names would be nice! Especially on UCMMA because I think those unbeaten guys are ducking me! And that's just pathetic, at 6-0 you can't say no!
Addicted: Is there anybody you would like to give a shout out to, Luke?
Luke: As always I want to thank all my sponsors that look after me;
QNT UK Supplements - @QNTUK www.qntuk.com
British Fighter Fightwear - @BRITISHF1GHTER www.britishfighter.co.uk
Funky Gums - @Funky_Gums www.funkygums.com
My Home - Pro-am fight centre - @Tsunamigym www.pro-amfightcentre.com
Everyone at Tsunami gym & BKK fighters, who are helping me prepare for this fight, my fantastic team around me (I'd like to give a special thanks to Mika our local Tsunami Viking, who's helped me push it hard for my last fight, and is one of my main driving forces for this training camp) My friends and family for all their support.
But most importantly, I want to thank all you guys that read my interviews, watch my fights and support the sport I love, which gives me the opportunity to live my life the way I live it.
The Bigslow Luke Barnatt!
Addicted: And you know how our final question goes by now, have you picked up any new addictions outside of MMA?
Luke: Man! I am trying to free my life from addictions you know! Try and lead the clean life....
I don't drink, smoke, do drugs or gamble... don't really have a single vice accept for over training! But right now I'd have to say I'm addicted to Inspiration books & quotes... so any suggestions send them my way! I'm reading the Alchemist right now and loving it. I live my life by this;
To see into your past, look at your current condition. To look into your future, see your current action!
Think about it and make a positive change in your action today!
Addicted: Thank you for your time once again Luke, and we wish you all the best on your journey.
Luke: Thanks guys for the interview! Love to hear from you guys.
Addicted: Always a pleasure Luke.
If you want to hear more from the BigSlow then check out CageFighter on Sky Sports next Wednesday on May the 2nd.
Images supplied by Short and Round.
Published by Boogeyman - Fri, 27 Apr 2012 17:58