For those who missed it, Pat Barry announced last week that he was taking an indefinite leave from MMA through his managers. He made sure to clarify, though, that he was not retiring from combat sports, just stepping away from MMA.
Speaking with Helwani, he confirmed what many were already expecting. He will be returning to kickboxing and already has two fights scheduled.
His first fight will be with the WKA North American Championship on March 22 in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to that, he signed a two-fight contract with Glory World Series, and he will fight on an upcoming card in May. He does not have an opponent confirmed for either fight at this time.
Barry, who comes from a kickboxing background, was visibly overjoyed about making a return to his sport of choice. "There's been some great days lately, man," he said with a smile. "I'm having a kickboxing match again...I'm finally able to go back to doing what I've wanted to do from the beginning."
The former UFC heavyweight has had some ups and downs in MMA but became a fan favorite with his wacky out-of-the-cage antics. He walked away with an 8-7 MMA record (5-7 in the UFC).
Barry cited his lack of enjoyment over the grappling aspect of the sport. At the same time he suffered from that when he came up against Soa Palelei at UFC Fight Night 33. Palelei, a former member of the Australian Olympic Wrestling team, took Barry down and knocked him out in the first round with ease.
Glory kickboxing, which airs on Spike TV, has become a small phenomenon unto itself. While it features numerous established personalities in the world of kickboxing, such as Tyrone Spong and Remy Bonjasky, it has also begun picking up former UFC fighters who come from kickboxing backgrounds such as Mirko Cro Cop and, of course, Pat Barry.