Props: MMA Nation
"I immediately said, ‘Yes, I'll do it. And right when I got off the phone I was like, ‘Oh man, what did I just do?' I had a Cro Cop poster on my wall growing up. He was my favorite MMA fighter. He's the reason the sport has evolved the way it has. The level of striking in this sport is the way it is right now because of him. He's the man. He's a living legend. People will be mentioning Cro Cop for the rest of fight history just like the way they mention Muhammad Ali. I think this is the same Cro Cop it has always been. He's the same dangerous monster he's always been. The only thing different is everybody else has gotten better. Anybody who thinks he's not the same guy that he used to be can take my place on June 12... I'll tell you my whole game plan right now. I'm gonna stay on my toes, and try to break his rhythm. He seems to just march forward at the same pace unless someone disrupts his rhythm. I'm gonna be coming in and out, in and out, and breaking his pattern. That's my game plan. And if he kicks me in the face, I'm gonna ask him to sign my eye."
Pat "HD" Barry appears to be the man of the hour in the lead up to UFC 115. He's an exciting, energetic, and affable guy. And his fight game matches his personality to a T, no doubt about it. But is Barry treading deep water here with his admittance that Cro Cop was his idol growing up? Sure, the Croation heavyweight doesn't strike fear in the hearts of fighters the way he used to, but Pat seems to think that nothing has changed with Filipovic since his heyday back in Pride FC. Regardless of the match up purely skills wise, fighting someone you looked up to your entire life can be a real mental challenge, (see GSP at UFC 50). So, is "Hype or Die" in trouble here with the way he is approaching this fight on June 12? Or, will his clear edge in athleticism prove to be enough to defeat his childhood hero? Predictions, por favor.