Forget Octagon Jitters: UFC Ottawa’s Marc-André Barriault Free of Nerves

Debuting after earning titles in two weight classes in TKO, Marc-André Barriault is brimming with confidence ahead of UFC Ottawa.

Ottawa, ON — TKO double-champion (middleweight and light heavyweight) Marc-André Barriault (11-1) is set to make his UFC debut on Saturday night. Taking on TUF 23 winner Andrew Sanchez, Barriault told reporters Thursday at the UFC Ottawa media day that he’s free of nerves, and is ready to go. Forget about octagon jitters, in other words.

Addressing media members including Cageside Press, Barriault said that “I’m very excited, confident. I’ve worked so hard since my last fight. I’m just ready to put on a great performance here in front of my country.” When all is said and done, he wants everyone to “know who is Power Bar.” Power Bar, for those not familiar with Barriault, is a nickname based on his last name, and powerful style.

Barriault does not, however, want to over-rely on sheer aggression or get too excited in his debut. “I don’t want to just overwhelm by everything. I just want to be myself, composed, just enjoy the moment, and have fun.”

“Of course I want the win, I want to make a huge statement right away, to establish myself in the middleweight division,” he added when asked about his goals for the fight. “And let everybody know why I am the double champ in the TKO organization.”

It helps, as well, that Barriault is familiar with Sanchez, as the two have sparred before. He feels there’s a reason for the pairing. “I think the UFC put me in that spot because they really want to see what I’m capable of, and I will not disappoint them.”

With every debuting Canadian fighter — with every Canadian fighter period — one name is consistently raised. Three initials. GSP. Georges St. Pierre. So it’s no surprise that the question of whether Barriault was stepping up into the welterweight legend’s place was brought up Thursday. “Georges was an amazing athlete. He had a huge impact in my career, my motivation,” said Barriault. “And also in my determination to just make my own path, by myself, and be one of the next generation of Canadian mixed martial arts superstars.”

Watch the full UFC Ottawa media day scrum with Marc-André Barriault above. The event takes place at the Canadian Tire Centre on May 4, 2019, airing live on ESPN+/TSN.