Brock Lesnar's Concern for Pat Barry Should Not Be Taken Lightly

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2014

Brock Lesnar enters the ring just before his UFC heavyweight mixed martial arts match against Alistair Overeem of the Netherlands, Friday, Dec. 30, 2011 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Overeem won by first round TKO and Lesnar announced his retirement after the fight. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)
Eric Jamison/Associated Press

Brock Lesnar is a public figure in the sense that he used to make violent appearances at UFC events and does the occasional WWE show, but he rarely speaks out about anything, instead opting to keep a low profile.

Yet when he does, it's time to stand at attention.

Lesnar, who knows a thing or two about the wear and tear a career inside the Octagon can have on one's body, is making waves around the globe thanks to his comments made to UFC president Dana White concerning mixed martial artist Pat Barry.

Barry has been knocked out four times in about the past two years and 14 times overall between UFC and kickboxing. After bowing out of UFC and signing with Glory kickboxing on Spike TV in January, he went out in his debut against Zack Mwekassa on May 3 and suffered a vicious knockout in the first round.

MMA journalist Adam Martin provided a look at the first-round knockout:

White addressed the media after UFC Fight Night in Cincinnati and reveled that Lesnar "begged" him to convince Barry to retire, as captured by Fox Sports' Damon Martin:

Brock Lesnar called me and begged me to make him retire. He said 'I don't consider too many people my friend, and I consider Pat Barry a friend, Dana you've got to get this guy to retire'. I said listen he's a grown man, Brock. What am I going to do, there's only so much I can do.

White went on to add that he has helped other fighters hang up the gloves in the past but that it comes down to the fighter's personal situation:

It's different with guys like Forrest (Griffin) and Chuck (Liddell) guys that I have relationships with for a long time and guys who have made a lot of money. That's the difference. It's easy to make them quit. Lot tougher to make a guy quit that has to make a living.

I don't want to hurt Pat Barry or throw a monkey wrench in his life or anything, but at the end of the day, state athletic commissions that need to step in and help a guy like Pat Barry retire or people that care about him.

Only Pat Barry can make Pat Barry retire. Promotions won't stop paying Barry to enter a cage, regardless of the potential damage, if his name moves tickets and he is willing to endure the punishment.

It doesn't sound like Barry is ready to call it quits, either. After his brutal loss, he posted the following image to Instagram, with the caption, "HARD TO EXPLAIN, HARDER TO COMPREHEND, BUT THIS PIC IS THE REASON, THE TEST, WHY WE DO IT!!"

Barry is in the punching-bag portion of his career, a stage all fighters inevitably enter. Like so many, he seems incapable of knowing when to give it up.

Writers write. It's what they do, how they define themselves.

Fighters fight. Barry seems stuck and in need of a third party to intervene. It just has to be done in the proper manner.

Which is why Lesnar's pleads are so important.

One of the most feared human beings on the planet—a former UFC heavyweight champion, NCAA Division I heavyweight wrestling champion, NFL player and even WWE champion—knew when to say enough is enough after losses to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem.

A variety of factors, including a serious bout with diverticulitis, played into Lesnar's decision to retire. But his concern is all too palpable for his former sparring partner. It's rare when fighters have this level of concern for their fellow fighters, and those who know an ounce about Lesnar understand that pigs may be flying past their windows as they read.

Jun 14, 2013; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Pat Barry during the weigh in at UFC 161 at the MTS Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

So Barry needs to pay attention. He's on the right path considering few of his knockouts have come from kickboxing. His jump back to that form of combat sports was a good start after being brutalized in the mixed martial arts realm, but this latest knockout is of the utmost concern.

Nobody wants to see Barry hang it up and not be able to live comfortably. Especially Lesnar, a friend who cares enough to go public (in a roundabout way, as he had to know White would spout off given the chance) with his thoughts on the matter.

Barry needs to take Lesnar's concerns seriously before too much damage is done. It's safe to say Lesnar is right there to help his friend through the end-of-career process if he can be convinced to call it a career.


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