Barry: Reach Disparity Against Struve May Not Be Major Factor


Pat Barry will look to rebound at UFC Live 6. | File Photo


Much of the talk surrounding Pat Barry’s showdown with Stefan Struve at UFC Live 6 -- which will air on Versus -- has focused on the height differential between the two men. When the heavyweights square off at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Barry says the reach disparity will not be as big a factor as it might seem.

The 32-year-old New Orleans native is accustomed to being at a height disadvantage in most of his bouts. Conversely, he believes the 6-foot-11 Struve does not see too many -- if any -- opponents that are taller than him in the cage.

“In all actuality, I don’t think reach will be that big of a deal in this fight. Everybody that Stefan fights and trains with is shorter than he is, and everybody I spar with is bigger than I am,” Barry said during a pre-fight teleconference. “How often does Stefan fight a guy that’s taller than him? I don’t run into guys that are shorter than I am. I don’t think this fight will make it any different.”

That does not mean Barry will not be prepared. For his camp, he brought in 6-foot-7 wrestler-turned-kickboxer Maurice “The Pirate” Green, who Barry referred to as “Black Struve.” When Green was not emulating Struve, Barry was throwing punches and kicks at Matt Morgan while the Team Death Clutch trainer stood on a stool.

“I think this could turn out to be a really awesome fight where it comes down to [where] my short arms don’t matter. We might cancel each other out in a way that it might take a long time to finish this fight,” Barry said. “Or maybe he can keep me [away] with the jab the way people eventually started keeping Mike Tyson away from them with a jab. Who knows? It could be a little bit of anything.”

Barry has split six bouts in the Octagon, with victories over Dan Evensen, Antoni Hardonk and Joey Beltran. His most recent defeat came to Cheick Kongo at UFC Live 4 in one of the year’s wildest bouts. Barry cracked Kongo with a right hand early and rushed in for an apparent finish. Referee Dan Miragliotta appeared close to stopping the action but ultimately allowed Kongo to continue. From there, the Frenchman gathered himself enough to land a right hook and an uppercut that knocked Barry unconscious.

Barry said he learned from Kongo’s miraculous recovery.

“You always hear people say anything is possible. I always knew that was the truth. You can’t count anybody out, even when they’re unconscious in the first round,” he said.

Even though the kickboxing specialist was mere moments away from a signature victory, he refuses to dwell on the loss.

“You can’t win all the time. Eventually you’ve gotta fail and you’ve gotta lose. That’s one of the best ways to grow and get better,” Barry said. “You can be pissed all night, [but] once you lose a fight, you lost. Either learn from it and get better or just go sit in a chair and rot away. There’s winning and there’s learning experiences.”

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