Pat Barry is a “go big or go home” kind of fighter, and it certainly paid off on Saturday night.
The former K-1 kickboxer has been known for his devastating finishing power, but with a 1-3 record in recent fights, Barry needed to come out swinging against Shane Del Rosario at the TUF 16 finale.
In the early going things got dicey for Barry when Del Rosario revealed his strategy by gunning for the takedown early and often when the fight started.
The work paid off as Del Rosario eventually got the fight to the mat, and started to work for submissions.
The former Strikeforce heavyweight seemed like he had Barry in a bad spot as he locked up a rear naked choke, but with only his arms wrapped around his opponent’s neck with no legs locked in for a base, it was a matter of time before he slipped off. To his credit, Del Rosario transitioned to an armbar, and then an omo plata before Barry finally slipped out once and for all.
Del Rosario was clearly up one round to none, but that didn’t matter after just a few seconds expired in the second round.
Barry came out swinging in round two, clipping Del Rosario with a big left hook and sending the former Muay Thai champion lumbering towards the cage.
Smelling the blood in the water, Barry swarmed his opponent with punches, and after a flurry of shots he landed a beautifully timed right hook that sent Del Rosario crashing to the mat.
“I told you since day one I’m throwing heat or I’m throwing nothing. I’m either going to win all the way or I’m losing all the way, there’s no in between,” said Barry after the knockout.
As big as a win as this was for Barry, he didn’t want the spotlight to be on him when the fight was over and UFC commentator Joe Rogan put a microphone in front of his face. Instead, Barry sent a message out to everyone after the tragic shooting that took place in Connecticut yesterday.
“I woke up yesterday to the worst text message I ever got about the incident yesterday,” said Barry. “If you’ve got kids, hug them as if it’s the last day, hug your parents, go hug your best friends, and if you have any beef with anybody from over 10 years ago that’s over nothing, tell them you’re sorry and you love them because you never know what’s going to happen.”
Sometimes there are things much, much bigger than fighting and Barry deserves absolute credit for acknowledging that and sending such a powerful message in his post fight speech.