Contender Series: Peter Barrett Talks Going Through Hell En Route to Winning UFC Deal

Winning his way into the UFC with a unanimous decision defeat of Sang Hoon Yoo was hard. What Peter Barrett went through getting there was pretty much a journey through hell.

Las Vegas, NV — Once upon a time, Peter Barrett was an undefeated prospect looking for a way into the UFC. Unfortunately, at the time, there was no Contender Series to compete on — but after Tuesday night, the final week of the 2019 edition of Dana White’s Contender Series, he’s finally part of the big show.

Barrett was one of three UFC contract winners to close out the season, and spoke to Cageside Press and other media outlets following the fight.

“I was 8-0, I was everything that the Contender [Series] was looking for, but it wasn’t there,” he said back stage at the UFC Apex. “And now I’ve had the opportunity to come back at 10-3 and take what’s mine. I’m just so grateful to be here, be a company man, work for the UFC.”

“I’m still trying to let the fact that Dana White’s my boss settle in,” he exclaimed. “It’s just an amazing feeling.”

Despite have lost a few fights there’s no question in Barrett’s mind that he’s a better fighter today. “The 11-3 me would smoke the 8-0 me. Every day of the week,” he stated. “I’m a complete fighter, I’m a complete person.”

The latter comment is a nod to a rebuilding as a human being, if you want to phrase it that way. After a strong start to his career, Barrett didn’t just lose a fight — he also lost his younger brother, and father, just months apart. His brother to an overdose. His father, two months later, to a heart attack. Depression ensued, not at all surprising. It’s something he’s had to pull himself up out of.

“I’ve shined a light in all the darkness of my life. I’m very transparent with everything as you guys saw in my pre-fight interview. There’s no point in hiding anything,” Barrett said. Frankly, Barrett was pretty soul-baring ahead of the fight. “I’ve got to be out there and be an advocate for people that are going through the same stuff that I went through to get help, to seek help. Tyson Fury’s interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast was a huge inspiration to me. No medicine, just a little bit of therapy, some positive reinforcement, some goals, showing up every day, being the best person I can be. And really just giving myself the opportunity to shine.”

Now, Barrett will have a chance to shine in the UFC. He wants on the Boston card in October, although it would be a quick turnaround. “There would be nothing better than to have my entire family there for my UFC debut. I had a limited selection of people here today that were able to come out. I’m one of eleven. Only one of my brothers was here. I want my whole family there, I want my cousins, I want my aunts, on both sides of the family. I want all my fans, I want everybody from Cage Titans, I want everybody from my work— it’s just been an amazing opportunity to see all the support that I’ve received. Everybody’s seen my journey, everybody knows what I’ve gone through. I’ve been through the darkest hells, and it doesn’t matter who they put across the cage from me. I will show up, I will bite down, I will fight.”

Watch the full post-fight press scrum with Peter Barrett from Dana White’s Contender Series Season 3 Week 10 above!