“I expect you to fight with grit and raw determination, because I most certainly will. No matter what happens, we’ll share a glass of Jameson’s afterward.”
Arron “Bad Man” Barringer
Interview: Rich Burmaster
Photos by: Heather Clark (www.heatherjoclark.com)
When you see someone with a 3-0 record you would usually assume that they are new to the sport. However when you pack as much experience as Arron â€œBad Manâ€ Barringer does into a 3-0 record you are far from being the new guy on the block. Paratrooper, Marine, Police Officer, Bass Player, Fighter. These are all titles that describe Arron.
On November 7th at the Legacy Fighting Championships in Houston Texas he looks to add to his undefeated record and spoil the pro debut of Kenny Burke. Arron took some time out of his dual camp training schedule to speak to TheCageDoor.net and give us some incite into the “Bad Man”.
TCD.net: How did you get started in MMA?
Arron: I was very small for my age and not very athletic at all. I was going to high school up in a small, rich town outside of Dallas, but we got all of my clothes from the local church. I had meal tickets in school. I was wearing Ocean Pacific in 1991. When it had not been cool since 1988. I suppose I was retro before retro was cool. We were poor, end of story. It wasn’t the â€œhoodâ€ or anything, but I got bullied a lot. A karate school opened in my town, and I offered to clean the school every night, mow the instructor’s lawn, and wash his car in exchange for tuition. He agreed, so I started training in Tang Soo Do and American Kickboxing. I boxed and kickboxed for a while and loved it. Then, in about 1996 I got into a fight with a wrestler in my Army unit. He kicked my ass. The next day I started looking for a BJJ school.
TCD.net: You are a college student, a musician and a fighter. How do you balance everything?
Arron: I don’t, I guess, since I decided to take the fall semester off so I could focus on my fighting. MMA has always been a hobby to me. This is the first time in my life that I am focused and dedicated to my training. I play bass in a cover band, but that doesn’t take me away too much. The biggest thing is planning. Plus, it helps that I’m single. Yeah, it’s a touch depressing, but I have a lot of spare time!
TCD.net: Word on the street is that you play a mean bass guitar. Better at BJJ or Bass?
Arron: Bass. Definitely. No bass has ever tapped me out! And I have to tell you, chicks seem to dig musicians more than fightersâ€¦ soâ€¦.
TCD.net: What brought you to Houston?
Arron: My truck.
TCD.net: You train at both Hoger MMA and at Jackson’s Submission Fighting in Mew Mexico. How has the combined experience of those coaches helped you progress?
Arron: I am one of the luckiest fighters on the planet. I belong to two fantastic teams! I have been with Greg Jackson since 1998, and I can not say enough great things about Greg. He is an incredibly genuine individual who cares very much about his fighters. He never set out to coach a fight team. He never set out to make money. Those two things just kind of â€œhappenedâ€ because of the amazingly kind person he is. Jackson’s has an entirely different culture than any other school I have seen. It’s hard to explain if you have not been there to experience it yourself.
When I decided that I wanted to get my act together, I looked at a lot of the schools in Houston. I went by and trained a few times, and though they are all very good schools, I was looking for more MMA and less BJJ. Additionally, Sam Hoger has a pedigree of experience that I think is head and shoulders above most instructors in the Houston area. I’m sure I’ll get some hate mail for that. I had met Professor Hoger a few times. I walked my chunky butt into his school, sat down with him and said I wanted to be a part of his team, but that I wanted to retain my affiliation with Greg Jackson. He appreciated my honesty and awarded me dual citizenship, in a way. I took three fighters (undefeated Foster Voelker, Ryan Josey and current Beatdown champ Chico Young) out to Greg’s for three weeks just to get ready to start training. Sam Hoger and Greg Jackson are apples and oranges in all the right ways. Sam is an excellent coach and gets better every day, he CARES about his fighters and he is determined to make his team a success. If you think you know Sam Hoger from watching television, then you would be wrong. He deserves a lot more respect than he gets.
TCD.net: Your teammates at Hoger MMA in Houston have had nothing but great things to say about you as a teammate. Was it hard to come to a new gym after being at Jackson’s for so long and what kind of welcome did you receive?
Arron: I don’t think you were talking to the right team mates, but really it was not hard at all. I leave my ego at the door. I try to be more than polite,and I try to be friendly. There is a difference in there. Plus, I am an American Irishman born in Buffalo, NY (my family was from County Wexford). Furthermore, I am a former Reconnaissance Marine which means I am loud, gregarious and sometimes obnoxious but usually in good ways! They welcomed me with opened arms, and then happily beat the stuffing out of me.
TCD.net: Your last fight was a submission win against Marques Facine In 05. Why the long time in between fights and what brought you back?
Arron: There was a lot of drama in my life during the time of the Facine fight. Money was short, and so I took a job in Iraq as a protective agent. I spent most of 2006 in Iraq, came home and my eleven year marriage was on the rocks. I decided I needed a change, so I came out to Houston in 2007 to go to school and play music. I had not even been on a mat in at least a year! One morning I looked at myself in the mirror and realized I had morphed into a fat turd. So I approached Sam Hoger about joining his team, and here I am!
TCD.net: You have 3 submission wins in a row. Are you looking for a KO or are you just as happy with a sub?
Arron: I am a strange one. I don’t fight for â€œWâ€sâ€¦ I fight to test myself. I never want a fight to go to the decision and will use every single tool in my kit bag to make sure that doesn’t happen. Besides it really is up to Kenny, isn’t it? I can only take what he gives me! So if it’s an arm, so be it. A knockoutâ€¦ cool. My favorite quote is by BJJ master Jean Jacque Machado â€œI would rather lose the fight knowing that my opponent was running for his life than win the fight knowing I was running for mine.â€
TCD.net: Your opponent Kenny Burke is the current Lonestar beatdown 170lb champ. Have you had a chance to see him fight yet and what did you think about his style?
Arron: I have only seen his fights on video. He is going to be a BIG 155 pounder! He’s cutting some good weight to get down to 155. I expect him to be a lot stronger than me. His style is good and constantly improving. You can certainly see a difference between his 1st and 6th amateur fights. With this being his first pro fight, I am certain he has been working his game. I am going into this fight with NO expectations about what Kenny will do. In 6 months he could be a completely different fighter, I know I most certainly am not the same fighter I was in 2005!
TCD.net: Any words for your fans or for Kenny Burke ?
Arron: Well, since I’m pretty sure I don’t have fans, I suppose this is where I would lay down the smack talk, except I don’t smack talk. I think that’s lame. So how’s this: Kenny, I look forward to fighting against you. I expect you to be the best you have ever been, because I certainly am. I expect you to fight with grit and raw determination, because I most certainly will. No matter what happens, we’ll share a glass of Jameson’s afterward.
TCD.net: Any advice for young fighters just now starting?
Arron: Jeez. First I get accused of having “fans” and now you guys think I have advice! I suppose I would say “take your time” there is no rush to get in the cage. Don’t jump the gun, let your coach tell you when you are ready. Be a good training partner, don’t get caught up in that BS about “I got this many taps!” Who cares? If you are not tapping, then you are not learning. You should be trying to incorporate new tools into your game. When you do this, you WILL get caught. It is just the way of it is, so relax and flow with the go.
TCD.net: Motto you live by?
Arron: “minic a bhris bÃ©al duine a shorn” (Irish for: It is often a man’s mouth which breaks his nose) Be kind to people. Be polite, or you might get socked.
Arron”: I would like to thank Outlaw Tattoos for sponsoring me. (http://www.myspace.com/outlawtattoohouston ). Also, I will have a table set up with some cool shirts as well as CDs from a local rock band called Black Queen Speaks who’s song “Dead Like You” will be my walkout song. You can check them out at: http://www.myspace.com/blackqueenspeaks.
Arron will be blogging during his training camp exclusively for TheCageDoor.net.