There’s little hesitation from either Peter Barrett or Max Barrett when the Abington, Mass., brothers are asked why they continue to step foot inside the cage, putting in 50-hour work weeks on top of their grueling, two-a-day training sessions.
The desire to be world champions, no matter the platform or where this crazy journey takes them, is what drives them to be better than everyone else they stand toe-to-toe with.
“Wherever I go,” Peter said,” my goal is to crush it and destroy the opposition.”
The Barretts, who both star on the televised main card of “CES MMA 39” Friday night in Plymouth, are accustomed to the fighting lifestyle; they grew up in a family of 15 and admittedly used to “beat the snot out of each other” when they were younger, according to Peter, the older of the two.
Their parents, who had three children, including their other brother, Cole, divorced when they were young. Their father wound up with seven children with their stepmom, who already had a daughter. Their stepfather had four children of his own before he met their mother, hence the extended family of 15. Many of the stepbrothers and stepsisters were older, so the Barretts felt like they were raised around a lot of “aunts” and “uncles,” not just siblings.
Suffice to say, the Barrett household was competitive, especially amongst the three brothers.
“It was always about who could do what better, or who could do it faster,” Peter said. “That’s just how we were raised.”
Years later, the Barretts are still at it, still chasing that dream of becoming world champions. So far, they’re on the right path. Fighting for Cage Titans FC, which will co-promote Friday’s show at Memorial Hall with CES MMA, the Barrett brothers enter “CES MMA 39” a combined 9-0 with 7 KOs.
Both brothers face the toughest tests of their careers Friday as they make their network television debuts on AXS TV’s AXS TV Fights, which begins its broadcast at 9 p.m. ET. Peter (6-0, 5 KOs) battles 3-0 Clearwater, Fla., featherweight Jeremy Davis while Max (3-0, 2 KOs) faces bantamweight Dan Dubuque (3-1) of Waterbury, Conn.
“We’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this to arrive, and now we have it,” Max said. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction.
“We have some family on the west coast that so far really hasn’t been able to see us fight other than what’s been posted on social media, so it’s really good to get that exposure. Our friends and family are supportive of us no matter what.”
Added Peter: “This is pretty sweet. I can’t say enough awesome things about this opportunity.”
What’s even more impressive about the Barretts, aside from their undefeated records and quick rise in the northeast, is the dedication to their craft despite living hectic lifestyles outside of the cage. Their manager, Tyson Chartier, calls it “mind blowing,” two relative up-and-comers training like Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) vets while working full-time jobs.
Thankfully, their work schedule allows them to be flexible with their training. They both work for a company called FBA Stores, founded by a family friend based out of nearby Weymouth, which, in a nutshell, helps entrepreneurs and business owners develop Amazon profiles and sell their products online for a larger profit.
The work weeks are long, but their schedule affords them the opportunity to work on their strength and conditioning early in the morning, put in a full day of work and then hit the mats at night.
Max runs “three or four” Amazon accounts for the owner of the company, sending emails day to day and filling orders, all of which adds up to $4 to $5 million in sales per year between the owner’s two stores (FBA has a facility just north of Vegas as well).
“It’s a really good gig and a unique niche that we’re in,” says Peter, who owns a degree in business management and marketing. “It just kind of worked out for us. I worked a couple of dead-end jobs out of college, but always stayed in contact and was networking. He needed someone new at his company, and I was ready to leave the job I was at.”
Balancing both careers hasn’t always been easy. The brothers soon learned that just because they could fit everything they needed to do into a 24-hour day didn’t mean it was beneficial to their overall success. They found themselves sluggish when they’d hit their second training session, mostly from a lack of sleep. They eventually linked up with Norton, Mass., strength coach Mike Perry, who has helped them establish a more manageable routine.
“I started with him about two or three years ago,” Max said, “and it took a while to get used to what he wanted us to do, but I feel great. We learned it’s not always the best thing to go balls to the wall with training between your strength and conditioning and the work you put in at the gym, especially working a full-time job. It definitely wears on you.”
“Over the last couple of camps, we’ve come to learn how important sleep is,” Peter added. “You can feel like a tough guy working out with no sleep, then you run into an injury, or an infection from not sleeping enough.
“We work eight hours, run home, change gym bags, then go out and train a couple of hours at night. If we’re on point, we can train from 6 to 9 at night on top of our two hours in the morning. What’s really cool is we get to the gym early and we just drill, drill, drill. It’s awesome because we’re both on the same mission and the same path.”
The competition between one another, which began as kids, continues to this day. The Barretts are both aiming to be world champions and they’ve managed to help each other along the way despite different fight styles, sharing advice in and out of the cage and driving one another to be successful.
“Normally, it comes in the form of, ‘Hey, you’re a fucking idiot. Don’t do that!'” Peter said. “It’s just constructive criticism. We’re always giving each other feedback.”
Max admits he’s the more “laid back” of the two, both in real life and inside the cage, but he and his brother have displayed similar knockout power; Peter is Cage Titans’ all-time leader in career knockouts as he enters Friday’s fight against the dangerous Davis, who is coming off a first-round knockout win at “Cage Titans 29” in June.
Having fought on the same fight card before, the Barretts are used to the camaraderie and competition and actually prefer to be featured together on the same night because of the support from family and friends. On Friday, the stakes are higher than ever with a much larger audience getting their first glimpse of what New England’s toughest fight family is all about.
“We’ve done it before, so it’s just another day for us,” Peter said. “We’re excited about the opportunity.”
Tickets for “CES MMA 39” are priced at $45.00, $55.00, $75.00 and $125.00 (VIP) and can be purchased online at www.cesboxing.com or www.cagetix.com or by phone at 401-724-2253/2254. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
“CES MMA 39” features eight action-packed bouts, including the main event showdown between East Bridgewater, Mass., middleweight Chuck O’Neil (17-8, 6 KOs) and Lawrence, Mass., vet Wilfredo Santiago (6-3, 5 KOs), and a featherweight battle between 25-fight vet Saul Almeida (18-7, 1 KO) of Framingham, Mass., and Abington prospect Manny Bermudez (7-0, 1 KO), who puts his unbeaten record on the line.
Also on the main card, Quincy, Mass., light heavyweight Mike Rodriguez (5-1, 3 KOs) returns following an impressive network television debut at “CES MMA 38” in September to face New Hampshire’s Kevin Haley (5-3, 2 KOs) and Milford, Mass., flyweight Remo Cardarelli (6-4) faces Josh Ricci (2-0) of Whitesville, N.Y.
Sandwich, Mass., welterweight Bobby Flynn (6-3, 1 KO), fresh off his win over Kevin Horowitz at “CES MMA 36,” battles unbeaten Crofton, Md., native Micah Terrill (6-0, 5 KOs) on the main card while Connor Barry (1-0) of Holbrook, Mass., faces lightweight Anthony Giachina (1-0) of Selden, N.Y., on the preliminary card.
“CES MMA 39” also features two amateur bouts; Charles Bonnar faces Zach Fritz-Kill and Joe Mikolinksi battles Shane Brady.
Visit www.cesmma.com, www.twitter.com/cesmma or www.facebook.com/cesmma for more information, follow CES MMA on Instagram at @CESMMA and use the hashtag #CES39 to join the conversation.