Iman Barlow captured the vacant Muay Thai Grand Prix women’s bantamweight title against, Therese Gunnarsson on April 1, 2017 with a powerful fifth round knockout at the O2 Indigo, London
Following her victory, Iman was told about her former adversary, Annisa Meksen being signed by GLORY Kickboxing which, came as a surprise to the newly crowned MTGP champion who, also holds the Lion Fight and Enfusion Live equivalent.
“Good for her. No, honestly. Well, I’m guessing it’d be her against maybe Tiffany for the belt, I don’t know. That’s interesting news, I didn’t know. Good for her, wish everyone success.”
“Pretty Killer” had come close to signing for GLORY last year but due to a bizarre set of circumstances that were blamed on poor communications and allegedly, a delayed contract being sent by GLORY after their official announcement, Barlow didn’t end up fighting for GLORY.
Tiffany Van Soest would go on to become GLORY’s first female champion and a bitter war of words would be ignited by the GLORY champion against Iman since the two were being lined-up against each other for, a much-anticipated clash between two of the best female fighters in their division.
As for Meksen, she has a second round stoppage win over Barlow (in 2014) during season five of the Enfusion Reality show “Victory of the Vixen”; and was recently signed-up by GLORY last week. A rematch between the two has never happened which, is quite surprising really, especially when considering that the volume of competition in female kickboxing isn’t very high, compared to men’s kickboxing.
Iman’s Dad and coach, Mark Barlow, questioned where and when Meksen would actually fight for GLORY though, due to past issues that weren’t previously publicised about too much, which he didn’t hesitate to reveal:
“Will she fight for GLORY? She was supposed to fight for Lion Fight, she was supposed to fight for Lion Fight and she pulled out to fight in America. So, will she fight for GLORY or she gonna fight for GLORY in Europe?
“We’ve asked for a rematch many times and Benoit, her boyfriend, won’t take it and she was signed for Enfusion and she pulled out twice. We’d love the fight but in our contract, we’re not allowed to fight Anissa on anything else but Enfusion. I’ve got it in writing. Iman fought her in the ‘Reality’ concussed. Iman fell off a motorbike and was knocked-out and I didn’t know about it and she fought and she shouldn’t have fought. So we’d like to square that one on.”
That wasn’t all that he had to say about the fierce rivalry his daughter is currently facing in world kickboxing and Muay Thai though, with the fall-out from Van Soest and GLORY not being off-limits either.
“Same as Tiffany. I’ve Facebooked her. Tiffany says that we’re running, well, I’ve Facebooked her. She’s running from us. I’ve told the manager that we wanna fight, right. You want it? Come and get it! We’re ready for you.
“She’s the one calling us out, right. She’s a great fighter and if we lose, we lose, yeah. But you know, we don’t run. We’ve never run from anybody. Since Iman was five years old we’ve always taken the best on.”
Iman as ever remained polite and respectful even though she was visibly surprised with how candid her Dad had been about anything and everything during her post-fight interview. However, despite not being one for conflict or verbally bashing anyone usually, she reconfirmed her’s and her Dad’s stance with regard to her standing in world kickboxing amongst the likes of Van Soest and Meksen.
“Yeah of course. That’s why I’m here. No. That’s why I’m here. I am the best and I’ll fight the best.”