TUF 16 Finale What's Next for Pat Barry?
Pat Barry has only been fighting in mixed martial arts for four years. In that brief period he’s become a fan favourite despite an unenviable record in the UFC of five wins and five losses.
On Saturday night he knocked out dangerous heavyweight Shane Del Rosario in the second round, demonstrating once again that, even if he isn’t the most-well rounded fighter in MMA, he’s one of the sport’s most devastating strikers.
He has a style of fighting fans love to watch and one that has kept him in the UFC despite his mounting losses.
But that doesn’t give him any easy options for his next fight.
We know Barry is a solid fighter. Even his losses in the UFC were close contests where a lack of experience and some bizarre twists led to his downfall.
He was beating veteran Mirko Filipović in their fight at UFC 115, for example, before he succumbed in the final minute of the final round to a rear naked choke.
Against Cheick Kongo, Barry looked to have sealed the match, knocking the Frenchmen out cold, before he woke him up with a second punch and ended up tasting the canvas himself.
And against Stefan Struve, Barry had the promising Dutchman backing up throughout the fight before an attempted slam went wrong and Struve was able to sink a triangle armbar.
That match demonstrated what a truly one sided fighter Barry is.
Grappling is his weakness.
However, on Saturday, late in the first round, he almost succumbed to a Del Rosario choke, which he eventually got out of. Barry showed marked improvement in defending submissions and it’s a skill we only expect to see him improve in his next match.
But that still doesn’t leave any obvious options for his next fight.
As good as Del Rosario is, he’s not a Top-10 heavyweight. Nor, for that matter, is Barry.
The Louisiana native has a lot of climbing to do to be considered among the best in the UFC, even though he has consistently shown great potential.
For that there are any number of heavyweights that could prove stepping stones for Barry.
Phil De Fries and Todd Duffee are expected to face each other at UFC 155 on Dec. 29. The winner of that match could be a perfect opponent for Barry.
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