Trey Barnhardt (3-1) has been on a submission tear since kicking off his amateur career in 2023. After suffering a decision loss to Jevon Sanders in his debut bout, Barnhardt turned around the momentum, submitting Joseph Filowiat, Dalton Page, and Brendan Chapman with a kimura, rear-naked choke, and armbar, respectively, across the remainder of the year.
Undefeated at 2-0, JR Banks will be looking to spoil Barnhardt’s streak, and keep his own alive. After a decision victory in his own 2023 debut, Banks went on to submit Demarial Grant with a rear naked choke at Beaufort Brawl 3 in November.
It’s still early in both men’s fighting careers, but it’s clear they each have a knack for finding their way into submission victories. Barnhardt’s four-fight experience, including a hard-fought loss, could give him an edge in experience, but Banks has the air of invincibility to carry into this bout.
With both men having shown their strength in the grappling game, look for both to be cautious about entering the clinch or giving up takedowns. The pairing of two known submission artists is likely to yield a striking match as they work to stay at the end of each others’ range. It’s likely victory will go to whichever has spent the most time honing his stand-up game ahead of this fight.
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