Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar got on the phone with UFC president Dana White shortly after his friend Pat Barry got knocked out in the first round of a kickboxing match. Lesnar begged White to never let Barry return to the octagon.
“He said, ‘I don’t consider too many people my friend, and I consider Pat Barry a friend, ‘” recalled White during a press conference after Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 40 in Cincinnati. “‘Dana, you got to get this guy to retire.'”
Lesnar, shown above wrestling a great white shark from the sea, has enough to worry about. Known for his explosive striking power, Barry began his career as a stand-out kickboxer. After losing two straight fights by first-round knockout in the UFC, Barry (8-7 MMA, 5-7 UFC) made a return to kickboxing to beat Ed Burris early this year in the World Kickboxing Association’s North American Championships in Virginia. Then he fought Zack Mwekassa in Glory World Series 16 on May 3 in Denver. Mwekassa knocked Barry out in the first round again.
The problem is, White said he told Lesnar, he’s not in a position to make Barry retire indefinitely, even though Barry himself announced that he’d be taking an “indefinite leave” from MMA early this year:
“I said, ‘Listen, he’s a grown man, Brock. What am I gonna do?’ It’s different with guys like Forrest (Griffin) and Chuck (Liddell), guys that I’ve had relationships with for a long time. Guys who have made a lot of money. That’s the difference. You look at guys like Forrest. Forrest and Chuck are multimillionaires. It’s easy to make them quit.”
“It’s a 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, the state athletic commission is gonna need to step in and help a guy like Pat Barry retire…. Or people that care about him.”
Though it’s been seven years since Barry’s had suffered a knock-out in kickboxing, he was knocked out (or TKOd) four times in the past two-and-a-half years of his MMA career, according to his UFC fighter profile. Perhaps most distressing to friends like Lesnar is how all of these knock-outs have come in the first round.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports observed: “A professional golfer who gets the yips on the putting green faces nothing other than potential embarrassment. Fighters who no longer have it, however, are an altogether different story. Their lives, literally at risk every time they step into a ring or a cage, are even more in jeopardy.”
On his May 7th Twitter feed, Barry proposed this bet to his 106,000 followers:
BET $100 TO FIRST PERSON WHO CAN GIVE THE RIGHT ANSWERS 1) HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I BEEN OUT COLD KO’D 2) HOW MANY CONCUSSIONS HAVE I HAD GO
— Pat Barry (@HypeOrDie) May 7, 2014
Replied Caine Lawson: “Too many times. I’ll take my money in PayPal thanks.”
Perhaps Lesnar‘s on to something here.
[Image courtesy of WWE]