When UFC heavyweight Pat Barry looks across the Octagon at Christian Morecraft on Friday night he’ll see nothing more than another opponent. While some fighters motivate themselves through anger or contempt, Barry’s happy-go-lucky personality outside of the cage extends into it as well where he’s certainly out to win but never looking to prove a personal point.
Barry recently opened up on his approach in an interview with the UFC’s website where he explained fighting was equivalent to any other competition one can think of and shrugged off the taboo of training partners taking each other on because, at the end of the day, mixing it up in the ring is nothing more than business.
“This is a full contact game of chess which happens to entail striking and hitting each other in the head and in the body or submitting each other,” said Barry. “Those are the rules of the game, and if you can’t accept that, then you’re in the wrong sport.”
“I get into the Octagon and I can be friendly with all these guys beforehand, and I’m friendly with them during and friendly with them after. I don’t have to go into the ‘I hate you, now I’ve got to kill you’ mentality. I don’t dislike anybody, especially total strangers; I don’t have a reason to hate a stranger,” he continued. “Some guys need to hate your guts in order to hurt you. Maybe that just makes me crazy, because we can be best friends and I’ll still punch you in the head if we step into the Octagon together. But that’s just because I know this is what the game entails.”
The 32-year old kickboxer went on to compare it to a one-on-one game of basketball where opponents don’t take it easy on the other, or make it more than it is, because they’re simply trying to win. His belief also carries over when it comes to potentially fighting his teammates.
“When you’re training together, you go at each other a lot more intense than you do when you’re at a fight because you’re in the comfort of there’s no one watching, we’re just at practice, we’ve got big gloves on,” explained Barry. “So when guys are training together, they beat the sh*t out of each other a lot worse than they do in an actual fight, but when it comes to fight time, they’re like ‘No man, I can’t do it.’ Wait, you can kick my ass for free, but you won’t do it and get paid?’ That don’t make sense.”
Fans can see if Barry’s mindset helps or hinders him against Morecraft when the two lock horns in co-headlining action at UFC on FX. The main card starts up at 9:00 PM EST with preliminary pairings being shown on Fuel TV a few hours earlier. The evening’s festivities are headlined by a bout between top lightweights Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC