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Essex fight fans ready for brutal cage evening
SOUTHEND’S Rob Barber says he’s looking forward to executing some ground & pound when he makes his pro debut against East Ham’s Aaron Mckearney at Heat.
The 25-year-old welterweight, who fights out of the Elite gym, has had a win and a defeat in the amateur ranks and was victorious in a semi-pro bout last time out, and now feels he’s ready to make the step up.
He said: “I think we are both evenly matched, because this will be the first pro fight for both of us. He has only had one semi-pro fight so I don’t know much about his style, but I’m prepared for whatever happens.
“I like wrestling and grappling, but I’ve been training for two-and-a-half years and I have a good all-round game.
“And I’m ready for the step up because ground & pound is a big part of my game, and you can only do that at pro level.”
Barber is a friend of Rhys Nunn, who told the Echo last week he’s looking for an impressive stoppage victory before stepping up to the pro ranks.
The 21-year-old submission wrestling specialist from Rochford will face London’s Tom Pollard, 20, in a 70kg, semi-pro bout.
Barber’s opponent, the rangy rookie Mckearney, 25, is part of a trio from the Rainham-based Terror Squad who will fight at the show.
Canning Town bantamweight Salih Kulucan, 21, nicknamed “The Ram Man” because of his come-forward fighting style, faces Andrea Colazingari, and Harlow’s heavy-handed middleweight Tommy “Titanium” Gunn, 23, will go up against the more experienced Scott Rogan, from Newcastle.
And the crowd could be treated to fireworks when Loughton heavyweight Stephen Lambert takes to the octagon.
The 32-year-old says he’s hoping to replicate his explosive debut when he steps into the cage with wrestling expert Thomas Denham.
Lambert announced himself on the MMA scene by knocking out Lithuania’s Tomas Vaiciskas in just 18 seconds at the last show at Garon Park in April.
He said: “I only took the sport up in November and my game is about stand-up and striking power.
“He’ll want to take it to the ground but I’ll want to fight on my terms and knock him out early.”