Written By Paul Delos Santos
Patrick Barry expected to win.
He had Tim Hague dead to rights, stunned, bloodied and beaten up. He was supposed to finish that fight.
Then in a flash, Barry had the hope of victory choked away.
"Losing is absurd," Barry (4-1) said. "Tim Hague earned the submission. He didn't get lucky. It wasn't a fluke."
Barry would be the first person to tell you that his best chance to win that fight at UFC 98 in Las Vegas, Nev. was to keep it standing. So when he stunned Hague with a head kick, Barry did what his first instinct was—finish off the rocked fighter.
Then the fight went to the ground, where Barry's inexperience came into play.
Hague (10-1), who entered the bout with a four-fight win streak, locked in the guillotine to end the fight in the first round.
"We focused on the ground game just like we did for the first four fights," Barry said. "Unfortunately, this is the first time I've had to use it live and testing it live is different.
"As long as we kept the fight standing, I was going to win."
Losing the bout also ended any chance of being moved to the main card immediately, meaning Barry will need to work up the ladder again if he wants to fight for the fans who ordered the pay-per-view.
"I got to keep destroying people. If I destroy someone, like I did against Dan Everson, I'll be on the main card," Barry said. "I was winning. Then I lost, and losing is going to keep me on the undercard."
It was a prime example of Barry's style—a high risk, high reward type of bout.
"I'm a gambler," Barry said. "I fight with an all-or-nothing style."
The style is a combination of necessity and personality.
At 5-foot-11, Barry stands shorter than most of the other heavyweights in the division. Barry, though, compares his style to another small heavyweight, who dominated boxing with his highlight reel knockouts and power—Mike Tyson.
"The hardest fights I've had are with guys shorter than me," Barry said. "I don't throw point-scoring punches or kicks. I'm throwing shots intended to end careers. I don't want to end any, but I'm like a sniper—one shot, one kill. I can hit people from different angles."
The drawback of being shorter is that it allows bigger fighters to take Barry down easier.
Barry added that if opponents survive the initial storm of power shots, it would allow them to have more opportunities to take the fight to the ground, where he is still evolving.
Thankfully for Barry, he has a training camp, which he called "the ultimate squadron of guys" at Roufusport in Milwaukee, Wisc., that will continue to elevate his grond skills.
Another fighter out of the gym, Anthony Pettis will be making his debut on Saturday at WEC 41: Brown vs. Faber II.
Barry will be in Sacramento, Calif. to help train Pettis, and will be watching intently, hoping to add a few more tools to his growing arsenal of weapons.
"We can simulate any fight scenario [at our camp]," Barry said. "I have a great joy helping other people get ready. I want to see him get better and [Pettis] has the tools to be the ultimate of ultimate. Being able to go and being on the outside is just as great as being on the inside."
Barry cannot wait to get back into the octagon and has already warned his next opponent—whether it be a sparring partner or another match—that he will be looking to send their head flying into the sixth row.
"The next guy standing in front of me with gloves on is in trouble," Barry said. "I'm here to knock heads off. I'm here to bring the thunder. I swing for the fences."
Barry doesn't expect the UFC to do him any favors when selecting his next fight, and always anticipates a very tough battle.
"You can never sleep on anyone in the UFC," Barry said. "The UFC doesn't feed you anyone. ... UFC is the highest level—the best of the best in the galaxy. Nobody in the UFC sucks."
Barry expects to win, and accepting losing is something he'll never do.
"Winning is supposed to happen," Barry said. "You have to be emotionally invested [in everything you do], and I love what I do."
Paul Delos Santos is a frequent contributor to MMAMadness.com. He can be reached for questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org