Barrett (5-1) is one of GLORY World Series’ top kickboxers, and his fight with The Netherlands’ Jason Wilnis at GLORY 18 is set as the co-main event for a stacked event in Oklahoma.

“I think Jason WIlnis is good guy, he does a lot of great things, he’s a tough character, I think it’s going to be a great fight. He’s a got a great over hand right, he’s got a good left hook to the body, he’s got a great inside kick, and he keeps his hands up when he kicks to the legs, he’s definitely a sound opponent.”

Wilnis (22-4-1) enters the fight having lost his last two matches in GLORY against Artem Levin and Sahak Parparyan; two of the middleweight division’s finest: “Being that he lost two in GLORY, he’s going to be more hungry, more aggressive, I tell everyone I expect that first round for him to throw all caution to the wind and go for the kill.

“Everything he needs in order to be effective, I don’t give him that opportunity to be as effective as he needs to be, with my movement.”

With four of his five wins by knockout, Barrett will look to utilise his striking power against a much more technical fighter: “I always want to finish people, if it’s there I’ll take it, if not we’ll just win the fight, but obviously I don’t want to be in there all night, I’ve got stuff to do, I want to watch the main event too you know.”

“He fought Artem [Levin], Artem has the belt. Artem wasn’t able to knock him out but you know when I knock him out and lay him out flat, I think it will make more of a sellable fight for me and Artem to go up against each other.”

Russian ‘technician’ Levin, won the middleweight strap, besting seven other guys back in June on PPV, and Barrett has set his sights on a future shot at the champion.

“If they want to give me a title shot after this fight, then I welcome it, if they feel that I don’t deserve it I’ll keep working till they give it to me.

“He’s also a mental technician like I am, and that always makes it for an interesting test of wills. Every fighter wants to go up against who everyone else thinks is the best.

“I read his post that he wants to defend his title in Russia, more power to him. If he wants me to come to Russia, I’ll come to Russia.”

The New Yorker was one of the eight competitors in the huge GLORY Last Man Standing middleweight tournament, and Barrett admitted the talent pool admittedly gave him the ‘jitters’.

“To say that I didn’t get the jitters would be a lie. Of course, it was awesome, [Melvn] Manhoef I’ve been watching that guy forever, he’s a legend; he has cannons in both arms. Artem is an absolute genius in the ring, even Felipe Verlinden, I watched his highlight tape, that guy is kickboxing 101.”

He added: “It was a great tournament, I was very honoured to be amongst those guys and I was very honoured to have a showing like I did and I think now people see me and know this kid is this guys for real.”

Barrett had a successful start to the tournament, knocking out the gritty Bodgan Stoica in the third round of their fight, however the former Georgia Golden Gloves Champion refuted any significance of a win over the Romanian superstar.

“It was just another win, like I said I’m still a humble guy, I don’t believe I’m bigger than what I am. I come to win, I expect to win. When I fight it’s just another person to me, I don’t look at records, who it is, I don’t listen to what the media says, I just go in there and I fight, and that’s really it.”

He advanced to the semi-final, and squared off with ‘in-ring’ rival Joe Schilling, losing by a close split decision: “Technically it was a loss to him, I don’t necessarily feel I lost but I could have done more. That’s it, I took it and I’m taking it as a learning experience. I learnt a lot from that tournament.”

Having lost to Schilling, Barrett tasted defeat for the first time in his career, and confessed it took him a while to recover.

“A couple weeks after the tournament, it definitely effected me, I was in a funky place, but I really made some changes and I came back stronger. I’m more relaxed, I‘m very confident in myself. No one knocked me out, no one came out there and beat me up. It definitely affected me but not for this fight.

“I’m more anxious to get in there now because I know what my mistake was, I wasn’t me, I knock guys out, and I’m just gonna go back to it.”

The number two ranked fighter stated he tried too hard to showcase his technical ability instead of doing what he does best.

“I am an aggressive fighter and I’ve just been coming away from it because I didn’t want to be known as just a guy who just knocks people out. But that’s what I do, I’m aggressive I get in there and I can make it a dog fight and ill show people that November 7.”

Now training under Jason Strout at Church Street Boxing, Barrett claimed now that GLORY have put their resources behind kickboxing, the sport will see a huge increase in its exposure, and he dreams being the face of American kickboxing.

“For me it’s an honour, I’m so lucky I’m so blessed just to be a part of this organisation trying to do what it’s trying to do, I dream of being the best American. Everytime I dream, everytime I fantasise or I meditate that’s who I want to be, I want to be that guy, that everyone knows hey that’s the American that’s the guy from the USA, he’s no joke. He’s really helping kickboxing push forward.

“I think kickboxing’s going to be amazing here in the States, I think it just going to be a little bit longer but it’s gonna catch fire, it’s so dominant in the UK and GLORY is trying to replicate that experience form the UK and from Europe here in America.”

Still at a young age in the sport, Barrett aims to win the world title sooner, rather than later, and warns Wilnis he expects to beat him on the way to that achievement: “I want to win this belt, I want to dominate the middleweight division in GLORY and solidify myself and show people who I am, and I know I can definitely do that in a short period of time.

“November 7th, it’s like I tell all my guys, I’m gonna be ready to fight, come ready to fight, and I expect to have my hand raised, it’s nothing personal, it’s just business.”

Image Credit – GLORY World Series