LAS VEGAS – Danny Barlow had been circling paths opposite Raheam Forest for years. It was inevitable they’d eventually meet.
But neither Barlow nor Forest likely could have predicted a while back that they’d fight not on their Memphis home turf on a regional show – but for a chance to get into the UFC. That’s what happened Tuesday when Barlow (7-0) put away Forest (7-2) with a quick first-round TKO.
Barlow’s finish came in just 79 seconds, which gave him five first-round stoppages in seven wins. To the surprise of virtually no one, he was one of the UFC contract winners at Dana White’s Contender Series 64 in Las Vegas.
“It’s crazy. I can’t really process it right now. It’s been a long time coming for sure. I’m still processing. It might take a couple of weeks,” Barlow said after his win and contract. “I didn’t even get settled in yet. That’s just how I fight in the first round. I’m reading, making reads. It’s going to look sloppy because you don’t know what the other fighter wants to do. But I come to get the job done every time.”
Barlow and Forest actually fought on the same card once as amateurs in 2020. Oddly enough, that event happened to be when Barlow lost for the only time in MMA. But as it turned out, the perfect time for the welterweights to get matched up was with plenty on the line.
But Barlow said he had some mild hesitation, at least, given they may not be full-on teammates, but they’re also not enemies.
“It was a game of tug of war in Memphis. It was very hard. It was very difficult to take that type of fight,” Barlow said. “I had to put my morals away because my brothers – we fight in the house, but we don’t outside of it. I feel like they had us fighting outside in front of (people), so I had to just make it business. I had to think real business.
“… I’ll fight anybody. That matchup was probably the worst, emotionally, to deal with. It’s all open now for whoever wants it. I’ll fight anybody after that. That took me to a different place mentally I’ve never been. This is a guy that, I’ve been standing his way, saying whatever, and there was the fight that everybody wanted to see back home. We stayed out way long enough. When it made sense, it makes sense.”
Check out Barlow’s full interview in the video above.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for DWCS 64.