Following the retirements of both Brock Lesnar and Cole Konrad, what was once Team Death Clutch is no more.
The heavyweight team that assembled around former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar came to notoriety after the former Minnesota wrestler wanted to build a gym and facility that would make him a more complete mixed martial artist, while also keeping him close to home.
But following his last fight in the UFC in December 2011, Lesnar called it a career in MMA and headed back to the WWE where he started as a pro wrestler.
Despite his exit, the team carried on with fighters like Bellator heavyweight champion Cole Konrad and UFC heavyweight Pat Barry, who first came to the team as a sparring partner for Lesnar.
Then came the news that Konrad was going to walk away from fighting, as well, to concentrate on the next stage in his life.
That left Pat Barry as the last fighter standing alongside coach Marty Morgan, who soon bolted as well.
Barry had to find a new place to train with Team Death Clutch now disbanded, and while he’s found a team and a trainer, he’s back to once again being the only heavyweight in the room.
“Three years in Milwaukee (working with Duke Roufus) and I left. I up and moved here, brought everything here, to train with a team of nothing but big guys, and now they’re all gone. So once again, I’m the biggest guy in the gym,” Barry told UFC Tonight on Tuesday.
Since he already moved lock, stock and barrel to Minnesota, Barry decided to stay put and find a new team to work with instead of uprooting his life yet again. Now he’s working full time with coach Greg Nelson at his gym, The Academy, once known as the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy.
“No more Death Clutch; no more big guys. Now I’m full time at the Academy with Greg Nelson in Minneapolis. He’s phenomenal, great at everything. I was already a part of the Academy, but I was training with Marty and Cole and now that they’re gone, I’m full-time, 100-percent part of the Academy, Greg Nelson’s gym in Minneapolis,” said Barry.
Nelson has worked in and around the MMA world for several years, training many fighters including former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk and former welterweight competitor Nick Thompson.
Barry has started working with the team full-time, while he awaits word from the UFC on his next bout in the Octagon.
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