Ready For War

Arron "Bad Man" Barringer

I am sitting in the Albuquerque Sunport (not Airport) waiting for my flight back to Houston. Two weeks seems like a month. I’ve been training hard, and making an amazing amount of progress.

Albuquerque is my home, but so is Houston, and I miss my team. The culture of Jackson’s is amazing. Everyone, and I mean everyone, knows who is fighting. I stopped into the gym during the morning pro class to say my thank you’s and good byes. Clay Guida looks up and see’s me. He calls me by name. “Arron!” he says, and reaches his hand out in the “Jackson” greeting: a sideways high five followed by a fist bump.

“You’re fighting Saturday, right?” He asks.

I reply that I am.

Clay smiles wide (he is always smiling wide) and offers words of encouragement. Aaron Riley, Villasenor, Peanut, Goyo, the Japanese fighters, Leonard Garcia… the list goes on and on. One by one they slap me on the back or offer handshakes. “Go get ‘em” “Do well!” “Finish the fight”.

I am overwhelmed with pride.  Team Hoger is anxious to have me back. I will get no rest after this fight. Ryan Josey has a fight in two weeks, and Chico “Machine Gun” Young is getting ready for his pro debut. After Saturday I will be dedicating my time to get my brothers ready. Sam is excited. Everyone is excited. They expect me to do well.

I’m not nervous, nor am I scared. I’ve been to hell before, and a cage fight is nowhere near that. I am excited and I love the feeling of anticipation, in fact I welcome it.  As a fighter, I step into the cage alone, yet I carry the hopes and expectations of my team on my shoulders.  These expectations are not as heavy as a ruck, so the weight is no issue.

Oddly enough, I feel like this is my pro debut. In fact, in many ways it is. I am a new man now. Newly dedicated, newly focused. I’m not stressed, I trained hard. Now I just have to let my training win the day.  I am determined to do right by my brothers and sisters. To uphold the reputation of my two teams, and to avenge the losses of my fellow team mates.

I am prepared to bring war into the cage of the Houston Arena Theater.

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