Liverpool’s Tim Barnett made his name on the UK scene fighting for the likes of Bellator, Cage Warriors and BAMMA but we haven’t seen him in action since he fell to back-to-back losses in 2019.

Now Barnett is back, with the likes of Liam McCracken, Marlon Jones, Callum and Tom Mullen, and Muhammad Mokaev in his team, and he’s ready to end his near-four-year hiatus at Hexagone MMA 9 on June 17 in Reims, France, where he’ll take on France’s Abou Tounkara.

Ahead of his return, Barnett shared his thoughts as he prepared to enter the latest chapter of his MMA career.

What got you into MMA?

I first got into MMA after a period of amateur boxing and the sport took my interest as I wanted to explore the full spectrum of true combat. I went to a jiu-jitsu class and very quickly realized that there was so much more to fighting. Playing different combat sports has given me a lot at different stages of my life. It has allowed me to develop physically, but especially mentally,

When did you finish education and what did you study?

I finished education with an HND in Sports Psychology from Liverpool John Moores University.

What do you do outside fighting and what other responsibilities do you have?

I am a father and an MMA coach. I also love nature and walking outdoors with the dogs and the family.

You’ve had a four-year break from competition. Why and what were you doing in that time?

Since I started fighting, I had never stopped. I had never taken time for myself. So, I needed to breathe, to think about something else, to find the flame and the love of martial arts. In my break from competition, I’ve been training and coaching and helping other athletes achieve their goals in MMA. During my absence, I have progressed in all areas. I’m a much better fighter than before!

What are you hoping to achieve from this fight?

I am hoping to achieve victory over barriers within myself. Things that affect my day-to-day self-belief and faith. These things are my true opponent.

What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses as a fighter?

I believe my strengths lie in my range, intensity and the chaos I create. My weaknesses used to lie in my lack of patience, but time out from the sport has allowed me to work on this trait.

Looking at your opponent, how do you think the fight will go?

I’m excited for the matchup. I think we will see all aspects of a mixed martial arts bout. Lots of striking and grappling and wall wrestling.

What are your next goals?

I don’t have any goals other than the ones that exist within the day. After the fight, I can set new goals, but for now, each day is a new life opportunity and I’m working towards presence as a human.

Any message for HXMMA fans and your opponent?

Turn on, tune in, drop out.

Hexagone MMA 9: Fight card

  • Prince Aounallah vs. Paul-Emmanuel Gnaze – for heavyweight title
  • Anthony Dizy vs. Roger Garcia
  • Mehdi Ben Lakhdar vs. Kevin Pastran
  • Abou Touncara vs. Tim Barnett
  • Eva Dourthe vs. Andressa Romero
  • Matthieu Letho Duclos vs. Geison Santana
  • Sofiane Aissaoui vs. Cristiano Estela Rios
  • Martin Horsky vs. Chresus Mokima
  • Alexis Fontes vs. Kevin Del
  • Boualem Sahraoui vs. Maximilien Vallot
  • Mohamed-Amine Rico Abassi vs. Nicolae Bivol