The calculation is not complicated: either Marc-André Barriault (11 – 4-0) wins Saturday night in Las Vegas against Oscar Piechota (11 – 3-1), or he sees his future in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) darken.
After being defeated in May, July and December 2019, he promises to “make fireworks” during the last fight included in his current contract with the UFC.
“On paper, yes, it looks like the fight of the last chance. But I worked on the mental aspect and, without blinding myself, I put myself a new portrait before my eyes, “he starts.
“What happened happened. I see [le prochain combat] as a rebirth. I want to show that the first three fights, it was experience. But now I'm going to show my true worth. “
Defeat against Jun Yong Park, South Korea on 21 December, led to a deep reflection. Barriault says he has done “work on [lui-même]”, notably by using sports psychologists. “Just for listening,” he said. In addition to modifying some eating habits, integrating intermittent fasting, for example, he took stock of his sports career in the UFC.
Recognized for his strike force and his propensity to wage battles in the octagon, the average weight was tilted twice by unanimous decision and once by shared decision during the last year. By his own admission, he moved away from what had made him successful with the TKO organization and before.
“The dream became reality quite quickly and I embarked on this big business [l’UFC] without taking the time to analyze certain things and position myself. I didn’t keep the essence of who I am. We have experienced certain things and we have tried ways of doing things. I don't regret anything […], but I know that there is something of my own and that I had put aside a little, he explains. I am someone who works in action and not in reaction. “
Training in the Outaouais
This desire to return to basics also materialized with a camp in the Outaouais. This is where the native of Gatineau, who lives in Quebec, made his first training there, his debut in the octagon and met his first outstanding figures.
In the past few weeks, he notably saw his mentor Patrick Marcil. He also rubbed shoulders with Lethwei champion Dave Leduc and Julien Leblanc, who we have already seen with the TKO organization.
Julien [Leblanc] really opened the door for me. I arrived with my trailer, my dog, and I parked on his ground. It allowed me to be in my bubble, but also to have someone to take care of me, push me and kick my butt. We did a gym in his garage with fitness every morning.
It was with Marcil and Leblanc that he went to Las Vegas. He will meet Polish Piechota who, coincidentally, also remains on three consecutive defeats in the UFC.
“We have substantially the same experience, except that his specialty is ground play. It’s a black belt of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If I go into his universe, it can be dangerous in terms of submissions. But I go there with the intention of getting into it and dictating the fight. “
Barriault's fight will take place a week after that of Charles Jourdain, who lost by a split decision against American Andre Fili, in Las Vegas. He also followed the experience of the Beloeil fighter to visualize what would await him in terms of tests and movement restrictions.
“The week of the fight will not be as usual, but it feels good to know that I am going to accomplish my task without being distracted. “