MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Pat Barry Retires From MMA

Pat Barry Another mixed martial artist has called it quits. UFC heavyweight fighter Pat Barry yesterday announced that he is officially retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts after nearly six years in the sport. Barry is 34 years old. In a statement released to the media, Barry said that he was leaving MMA in part because he doesn’t like to wrestle. However, he said that he still enjoys striking and it’s possible we could see him compete in kickboxing again at some point, the sport Barry did before he switched over to MMA. But should he even consider a comeback in kickboxing? In my opinion, no. Barry can blame his lack of wrestling for his lack of success in mixed martial arts — he retires with an 8-7 MMA record, including a 5-7 mark in the Octagon — but the fact of the matter is this is a fighter who has been brutally knocked out four times in the last two-and-a-half years. Three of those knockouts, against Lavar Johnson, Cheick Kongo, and Shawn Jordan, all came in the standup. Only one, a vicious knockout defeated to Soa Palelei in his last outing at UFC Fight Night 33, came on the ground. So yes, while Barry won’t have to deal with being hit by four-once gloves if he decides to take up kickboxing again, he’s still going to get hit and his recent resume shows it’s not wrestling that has been his problem, it’s been his chin. I hate telling fighters to retire because it’s really none of my business, and it’s actually a pet peeve of mine when I see fellow fans and media telling fighters to hang it up. It’s not their job to do so. But in Barry’s case, I worry for his health. The knockouts he suffered in the last few years weren’t just baby TKOs. These were brutal, vicious knockouts that left him dazed and confused, and considering he’s 34 years now now and still has many more years to live, it’s more than likely for his best that he’s not an active fighter in any combat sport any longer, regardless of whether wrestling is involved or not. Instead, Barry should turn to coaching and teaching to make an income. Last weekend at UFC on FOX 10, Barry appeared in the corner of Chico Camus, who ended up defeated Yaotzin Meza via unanimous decision. We’ve also seen him corner his girlfriend, UFC women’s strawweight Rose Namajunas, on numerous occasions. It sees like Barry is a natural at motivating people and considering all his years in combat sports, he can teach a lot to younger fighters coming up. Sure, the money in coaching won’t be the same as what he was making fighting for the UFC or even in kickboxing, but at some point Barry has to figure his health comes first and that competing in any combat sport just doesn’t make sense. It took a lot of courage for Barry to ask the UFC to release him from his contract and to retire from MMA. But it’s not enough. He should take the next step and close the door on returning to kickboxing, too, because as much as we all enjoy watching him perform, no one wants to see Barry get hurt anymore, and that’s all that’s happened to him in recent years in his fights.

Written by Adam Martin.

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