When Scott Barrett (12-2) steps into the cage this Friday night in the co-main event of XFC 14, he won’t be facing just another opponent in Carmelo Marrero (13-5, 1-NC). The connection between these two fighters runs much deeper than that.
“We first met right after he beat Cheick Kongo,” Barrett said. “He was on top of the world and he was looking like the number one prospect in the UFC since everybody thought that Cheick Kongo was the next big thing at the time.”
Then, as the two began training together at the Hardcore Gym in Athens, Ga., Barrett began to look up to and admire Marrero.
“We were training together and I kind of looked up to him,” Barrett said. “I was like, ‘This is the fighter that I want to be when I become a pro fighter,’ and now it happens that we have to fight each other.”
But in preparing to fight a man he once idolized, Barrett has had to go without having his normal training partner and UFC vet Todd Duffee as a part of his camp.
“My training partner for most of my fights has been Todd Duffee,” Barrett said. “But Since Carmelo and I are friends, and Todd and Carmelo are friends, Todd refused to train or corner either one of us.”
With Duffee gone, Barrett has spent much of his time working with one of Marrero’s former training partners and Ultimate Fighter Season 7 veteran Cale Yarbrough. Barrett plans to put what he has learned into action Friday night and test Marrero like he never has been before.
“Carmelo has never had to stand and bang with anybody,” Barrett said. “He has never had to stand in front of somebody as big and as strong as I am. He’s not going to come in and put me on my ass.”
Despite both fighters being known for finishing their opponents, Barrett is prepared for a long fight. “[Marrero] has never been knocked down and I haven’t either,” Barrett said. “I think we are going to beat the [expletive] out of each other for 15 minutes.”
XFC 14 takes place this Friday, October 21, at the UCF Arena in Orlando Fla., and will air LIVE on HDNet. To learn more about Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC) or to purchase tickets for XFC 14, you can visit their website at OfficialXFC.com.