The 10 guillotine choke finishes on Leeroy Barnes‘ record are no accident. The U.K.-based fighter told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that it’s just a matter of time before he’s able to secure the hold, and the tapout, from his opponent.
At Cage Warriors 57, which takes place Saturday at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, he’ll be looking for the moment at which his opponent, Norman Paraisy (11-3-2), gives him the go-ahead to start cranking with his favorite application of the submission.
“Everyone thinks it just happens, but I always go for the arm-in guillotine,” said Barnes (12-10). “People feel safe when the arm is in, like they can defend it. But the way I do it is different; I set it up from a slightly different angle.
“I know in most fights when people get sloppy against the fence and they wrestle, they leave their head in certain positions. I know I can definitely get it, like 99 times out of 100. If I get the position, I can get the choke. I always know, the later the fight gets, the more tired people get, and it’s just worked out where I’ve had 10 of them now.”
But there’s another way he might get position on Paraisy that has nothing to do with stuffing him against the cage. He said his submission skills often come into play after he unleashes an onslaught of punches.
“My hands are good. I stood with Jack Marshman for the BAMMA title for three rounds. He’d been knocking everybody out in the first round, and we just had a boxing match. I lost the fight on decision, but the fact that I stood with him shows how proficient I am with my hands.”
In fact, the reason he got into the sport is a bout in which a submission specialist got thumped by a superior striker. Barnes started training after he saw “UFC 38: Brawl at the Hall,” where future UFC champ Frank Mir tried to grapple with U.K. fighter Ian Freeman and wound up getting saved by the referee.
A former track and field athlete, Barnes initially wanted to box, but decided that he might want to round out his skill set in MMA. Although the first half of his career was marked with inconsistency, he’s managed to go 8-3 over the past three years and win a contract with Cage Warriors.
“I thought about quitting, but I’d put too much effort into the sport to just walk away from it,” he said. “I took time off, and I believe I can go far. I believe I can do well in Cage Warriors, and I believe I can fight for the belt and I believe I can move on to the UFC. I just need to put it together like I do in the gym.”
Paraisy, a Bellator veteran, looks to rebound from a disappointing draw against UFC vet Chris Fields in his most recent appearance at Cage Warriors. It’s not out of the question that he might try to put Barnes on his back to avoid the guillotine and win a decision.
But Barnes said he’s not safe on the mat, either. There are plenty of other submission holds in his arsenal.
“If Paraisy wants to wrestle me and grind me out, I’m not even worried about getting taken down,” said Barnes. “I’ll find something on the floor.”
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