Only days after the passing of her father, Shelly Barnett fought emotions, a snow storm, and then 23 fight veteran Karla Valenzuela of Mexico.
Flying back into Chicago from Toronto on Friday, Team Barnett raced up I94 to Milwaukee that evening to weighin for Heavy Hitters Promotions show on Saturday evening.
Both Barnett and Valenzuela weighed in at 115 lb even so the tables were set.
On Saturday, family arrived from Toronto to cheer on “Machine Gun” Shelly. Heavy heart feelings were set aside for whole-heart attacking Super Flyweight prospect.
As the second bout of the show, Barnett let loose on the visiting opponent, snapping shots to the body and head – winning over fans from North of Chicago.
For 6 rounds, Barnett controlled the ring and pace of action, gaining the clear edge on clean punches.
Valenzuela, the resilient opponent with the resume to back that up, stood her ground and kept on pressing to stay in the bout.
As the scores were read, the roaring crowd told the story of the night.
Winning the match and hearts of those in attendance, Barnett had her hand raised in victory with the Unanimous Decision win.
Official scores: 59-55, 59-55, 59-55.
As Barnett’s support, UFC’s female strawweight challenger Felice Herrig was ringside and praised her sparring partner’s performance.
Added props came from TMT’s big man, trainer Nate Jones.
Barnett’s words after the bout: