Despite a first-round knockout loss, Pat Barry shouldn't be worrying about his job—the UFC needs to keep him around.
The always-popular Barry was clearly outmatched by Lavar Johnson's brutal knockout power. The loss drops Barry to a meager 1-3 in his last four fights and for most people, that would earn them some well-deserved time on the regional circuit to develop their skills before making an octagon return.
However, Barry's case is a bit different. Here's why Barry should be granted at least one more fight.
Pat Barry has elite striking, but he's awful on the ground.
Despite the loss, Barry finally put his biggest criticism to rest.
A former K-1 kickboxer, Barry has always been known as a superior standup fighter who could chop down a tree with his leg kicks and end the fight with just one strike. However, his ground game was always—to put it nicely—lacking.
For a fighter that was once submitted by Mirko Cro Cop, Barry's ground game was vastly improved at UFC on Fox 3.
Barry was able to take Johnson down, gain the mount position, then transition to side control and ultimately attempt a fairly tight kimura that could have ended the fight had it not been defended well by Lavar Johnson.
If Barry was once again a one-trick pony and lost again, he could be on his way to a pink slip. Considering Barry showed that his game is indeed maturing, he should get at least one more shot to show that he can continue to evolve as a fighter.
If there's one thing we learned from Lavar Johnson vs. Pat Barry, it's that Barry is not a legitimate contender in the heavyweight division. He is however, a great fighter to have on the roster as a gatekeeper.
When it comes to striking, there aren't many fighters with a better pedigree than Barry. K-1 kickboxers rarely make the transition to MMA, and Barry remains a tough test for anyone in the stand-up department. Any up-and-comer who needs to be tested will make a great matchup for Barry.
Barry's striking makes him a valuable asset to the company, as he is rarely engaged in a boring fight and generally looks to exchange with his opponents.
Fair or unfair, a fighter's popularity tends to play into whether they get a pink slip.
This should be a huge advantage, as Barry is always a fan favorite. Barry is a likable guy outside the octagon and an exciting fighter in it.
Barry owns two fight-of-the-night awards and a knockout of the night award. His fight against Cheick Kongo was one of the most exciting one-round fights there has been.
Barry's mediocre record simply doesn't tell the whole story. We know he will never be a top-tier fighter, but he's must-watch TV and his fights are always memorable. That's the kind of fighter that the UFC wants to keep around.
The problem with cutting Pat Barry after his first-round knockout loss to Lavar Johnson is that we have no idea how good Johnson is/could be.
Cutting Barry after being finished by Johnson may seem like a good idea now, but if Johnson continues to win convincingly, then a loss to Johnson isn't so bad. If the UFC cuts Barry now, he could be the next Fabricio Werdum.
Werdum, who has since been brought back to the roster, was once cut after a knockout loss to up-and-comer Junior dos Santos. Werdum was making his fourth UFC appearance and came in as a heavy favorite against the promotional newcomer.
Now that dos Santos is the champion, it's obvious to see that Werdum shouldn't have been expected to win the fight. It's hard to gauge how bad this loss is for Barry when we don't know how good Johnson is. From the looks of things, he is ready to go on a tear.