Pat Barry Will Take Indefinite Leave from MMA, Released from UFC

Scott HarrisMMA Lead WriterJanuary 28, 2014

USA Today

Long-tenured UFC heavyweight Pat Barry will take an indefinite leave of absence from professional MMA and has been released from his UFC contract per his own request.

The news came Tuesday evening in a statement that was released to USA Today's MMAJunkie by Barry's manager, Brian Butler.

"[Barry] has come to the decision that he will be taking an indefinite leave from competing in MMA," the statement read. "The UFC and Zuffa have been very gracious in releasing him from his contract and Pat is very grateful for everything they have done for him and his career."

Barry, 34, was always popular with fans and Zuffa brass for his high-energy kickboxing style.

Unfortunately for Barry, however, his specialist's expertise as a striker did not translate to big UFC success. If he has indeed fought for the last time in an MMA cage, Barry will go out having lost three of his last four contests. Most recently, Barry took a first-round knockout loss to Soa Palelei in December.

Barry was 5-7 during his UFC career and 8-7 overall.

Barry's fatal flaw as a fighter was his relative lack of a polished ground game. That's very difficult to overcome in today's UFC, which demands that fighters be experts in all phases of combat.

A quote included in the statement directly addressed this aspect of Barry's career.

Barry (right) takes a swing at Lavar Johnson during a fight in 2012.
Barry (right) takes a swing at Lavar Johnson during a fight in 2012.Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

“Over the past few fights I’ve just had this sinking feeling in my stomach whenever I have stepped into the Octagon and I realize, I DONT WANT TO WRESTLE [sic]," Barry said in the statement.

Barry also hinted in the statement that he might make a move back to kickboxing. Barry began his combat sports career as a kickboxer, amassing a 15-5 mark in that field, which included a long stint in the K-1 promotion.

"Not saying I will never do MMA again," Barry said in the statement. "But right now I just want to hit people."