Pat Barry walked into the UFC's first fight card on FX on a two-fight losing streak. He had been taken out by not just Cheick Kongo, but Stefan Struve as well.
Dana White may like Barry, but three losses in a row seems to be the death knell for most competitors in the UFC. There are a few exceptions, and Barry might have been one of them.
But the UFC is a business, and with the consolidation of Strikeforce's heavyweight stable there is a good chance it may have squeezed Barry's spot on the roster.
The other tell-tale sign that Barry was getting his last shot with the company was his opponent. Whenever fan favorites face off against relative unknowns (or those with losing records inside the promotion) it usually means it is their last chance with the promotion.
With a 1-2 UFC record, Christian Morecraft fit that to a tee on both accounts.
Barry was able to keep his job, but it was close. As illustrated in every one of his bouts, Barry still has issues with anything outside of striking.
Barry not only got the win, but got a great knockout as well, which means he keeps his main card status. He was also rewarded the fight of the night bonus (which is debatable, considering the thrilling performance Mike Easton and Jared Papazian put on).
Still, it fills his coffers a bit more and makes him a triple bonus winner, with two having come on the same night. That makes him a little more indispensable to the UFC brass, but with more competition merging into the company he needs all the help that it brings.
Barry is likable and, like virtually all sports, in MMA that helps. Trash talking will get you only so far, as talent takes you the rest of the way. Even more, If you are an exciting fighter, fans will actually like you better if you are respecting all the while giving thrilling performances.
But, at the end of the day, fans like winners and Barry did that Friday night. Again, if he hadn't he could have found himself holding a pink slip and in the unemployment line.
Matthew Hemphill writes for the MMA, and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report. He also hosts a blog elbaexiled.blogspot.com which focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film, and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom.
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