Marc-Andre Barriault is expecting a groundswell of support in Ottawa and he hopes to turn a local movement into national fandom.
The former TKO light-heavyweight and middleweight champion will make his UFC debut on the main card of UFC Ottawa on Saturday, May 4. Almost immediately, comparisons are being drawn towards him and Georges St-Pierre. Such is the case with just about any French-Canadian fighter in the UFC.
“Georges was an amazing athlete,” Barriault told MMA Fighting and other outlets at Thursday’s media day. “He had a huge impact in my career and motivation. And also in my determination to make my own path and be one of the next generation of Canadian mixed martial arts superstar.”
Despite the local fanfare and comparisons to GSP, Barriault is not about to let the moment take him by surprise. “I don’t want to be overwhelmed by everything,” he expressed. “I want to be myself, composed and enjoy the moment. Have fun.”
Do not expect him, however, to take his time climbing the middleweight ranks. “I’m not that kind of guy who waits for something,” he shared. “Like I said, I do the job when it counts, during the fight night. The best I can do is with my fists. Do my job, do what I do best and enjoy the process.”
Barriault is making his debut vs. The Ultimate Fighter winner Andrew Sanchez. The two have sparred at Tristar in the past and Sanchez claimed to get the better of that exchange. “It was only a sparring session. It was all respect and nothing else,” Barriault argued. “The fight is different. He will see Saturday night what is the best of Marc-Andre.”
Barriault vs. Sanchez takes place on the main card of UFC Ottawa on Saturday, May 4.