Chula Vista resident Nick Barnes, 20, has been participating in sports since sophomore year of high school, but now he has taken his game to a different level.
The 2009 Bonita Vista High School graduate is now an active member of Mixed Martial Arts San Diego.
MMA is a full contact sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques and skills to be used in competitions.
“I wrestled through high school and have been fighting for a year and half now,” said Barnes.
Although the brutal sport can be dangerous at times, his family has always been encouraging.
“My mom is very supportive, but she never attends the fights. She’ll be the voice of support but she’s scared of going to the fights to watch,” said Barnes.
“My dad always wanted me to be a fighter; he has always been by my side.”
The undefeated fighter has had four fights so far. The first two were amateur and the last two were pro fights for the Gladiator Challenge.
“The first pro fight, I choked him out, and the last fight I won because of injury; through a struggle, he broke his arm,” said Barnes.
To prepare for his fights, Barnes trains a couple of months in advance.
“I go to my trainers and work a lot on my MMA skills, cage technique, stand up, kickboxing and so on,” said Barnes. “I work on all of my techniques to get my cardio up, then a week before the fight I take it easy.”
Although fighting began solely as a hobby, Barnes is considering making it a profession.
“I want to see where it takes me,” said Barnes. “Right now it’s going good, but once it stops being
fun I’ll probably stop.”