Valor Fights

Shonte Barnes talks about decision to turn professional and fight on Saturday at Valor Fights 37

Former Western Carolina football player Shonte Barnes will make his professional mixed martial arts debut on Saturday night in Cleveland, Tennessee at Valor Fights 37 as he will meet Tim Stewart on the fight card coming from the Cleveland State Community College.

Barnes won three of his four fights in the amateur ranks and all of those wins came by stoppage. His last fight was just over a year ago, so why did Barnes feel this was the right time to make his professional debut?

“I am getting old. I am not going to lie to you,” Barnes said on yesterday’s episode of The MMA Report Podcast. “So at one point I was sitting out thinking, ‘well I do not want to be a 30-year-old amateur. So I was let’s go make that jump.’ Plus with some of the things that come with being a professional fighter. I have been doing it my whole career. I’ve tried to take a professional stance the entire time and then the whole pressure of being a professional.”

“Playing football has got me prepared for that. I’ve actually played in Alabama under like 60,000 screaming fans who hated our guts,” he continued. “It was the first season that Nick Saban took over the reins too. There is no amount of people that can hate me as bad as they hated us. So I am perfectly fine there.”

Check out Barnes’s complete interview from yesterday’s episode of “The MMA Report Podcast” below and be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher.