WINNIPEG – Considering he’s a guy who’s usually already at a disadvantage by fighting guys who tower over him and weigh more, you may be surprised just how little Pat Barry cares about his fellow heavyweights using performance-enhancing drugs.
Barry (8-5 MMA, 5-5 UFC) , who fights friend Shawn Jordan (14-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) on Saturday’s UFC 161 pay-per-view main card, suffered a May 2012 loss to Lavar Johnson. The fan favorite then watched Johnson test positive for elevated levels of testosterone just two fights later.
While fans were quick to surmise that Johnson may have been using banned substances in their fight too, Barry scoffs at the notion and quickly dismisses it.
In fact, he said he doesn’t care if fighters are using them. He doesn’t, he said. But others? It’s of no concern.
“I don’t know man,” he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “I’m not for it, but it’s weird man.
“I’m not saying everyone should or they shouldn’t (use steroids). I don’t. Red Bull – that’s about it for me.”
But doesn’t irk Barry, who’s fought 10 times in the UFC but never put together back-to-back wins, to think opponents are getting an unfair advantage? In a sport in which winning can be the difference between millions of dollars and the unemployment line, don’t you want to know there’s a level playing field?
At least with Johnson, Barry said he’s not concerned about it.
“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you have skyrocketing levels of anything. It doesn’t matter. I don’t take that as a factor. Lavar beat me. Lavar Johnson is the man. He’s cool as a mug. I’ve been talking to him regularly, and hopefully we’ll be able train one day.
” … He beat me that day. That had nothing to do with any elevated levels of nothing. He beat me. He punched me in the head, and it was over. That’s it. Lavar’s the man. He deserved that win. He earned that win. He outfought me that day.”
Of course, Johnson passed his drug test at that fight, UFC on FOX 3, so there’s no proof he was fighting dirty. And perhaps that’s the reason Barry isn’t dwelling on it.
After all, when he meets Jordan, yet another bruiser who will have a height and weight advantage on him, Barry has bigger things to worry about. At MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, he could put together his first winning streak in nearly five years. Additionally, he’s been given the honor of kicking off the PPV broadcast, which is usually an indication that UFC officials expect a fight to deliver.
Barry takes pride on putting on fights that fans want to see. But his priority is winning, and the rest if just a byproduct of it.
“Putting on a show for fans is just something that naturally happens with my style of fighting,” he said. “I know we need to keep the fans happy. That’s true. I just lucked out that my approach to a fight and the way I go about doing it just happens to be aesthetically pleasing, visually pleasing to a crowd.”
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