“I’ve already gotten bad things said to me as soon as I got out. ‘Hey man, good fight, but what happened in round one?’ I’m getting bad text messages already, but that’s just gonna happen,” Barry said at Saturday’s post-fight press conference.
“I’m still hearing about kickboxing matches I lost 10 years ago. It’s never gonna go away.”
Barry made no secret of the fact that he was a huge fan of Cro Cop’s leading up to their fight. Many people saying his starry eyes blinded his performance against his Croatian idol.
“It’s just life in general. It wasn’t just the last fight,” explained Barry, deflecting the idea that the Cro Cop fight set him in a bad mood for Beltran. “Everybody has to have a bad day eventually. It’s just certain things, just builds up, builds up, builds up. I haven’t had a cranky fight in a long time.”
The criticism on Saturday night was primarily over the first-round action, or lack thereof. Most people expected Barry and Beltran to come out blasting each other from the opening bell… but remember folks, this is a fight, not a round of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots.
“Statistically, on paper, I’m the better stand-up guy. He’s the better wrestler, jiu-jitus, maybe all-around guy, but I’m the better stand-up guy. So when the bell rang, he walked backwards. That’s a trap. So I stood on this blue circle in the middle of the Octagon and you’re gonna have to come to me. But for the first part of the fight, he didn’t come to me,” Barry recounted.
“I could have either gone to him, breaking my game plan, or he could have walked straight at me, breaking his. It’s kind of a toss-up, so I’m sorry it kind of turned out to be a slow start, but we both had a strategy and neither one of us wanted to falter.”
Barry, as the fight progressed, began chopping Beltran down with bone crushing leg kicks. The effect was visible, Beltran’s movement slowing and a limp exaggerating as the fight wore on. But Beltran kept pressing on, never succumbing to his damaged leg.
“Joey Beltran is a zombie. I kicked him in the face 300 times. I think I beat his legs to death and he was going to keep coming no matter what,” Barry commented. ”If we had two more rounds, that dude would be hopping around on one leg. That dude is a monster.”
It takes two to tango, and Beltran wasn’t willing to give Barry the flashy finish that many so desperately wanted.
“No matter what, some people are just gonna hate your guts. It’s impossible to make everyone happy,” stated Barry.
“Am I past that? I’m fine with it. Am I still gonna hear about? Of course, but that’s just how it goes.”