He holds a 5-6 record inside the Octagon and has never won two fights in a row. While he has a fan-friendly style and has been in some of the more entertaining heavyweight battles in UFC, he has been largely inconsistent. Heading into tonight's UFC Fight Night 33 fight in Australia against Soa Palelei, Barry will once again be looking for a win to start a possible streak.
"You said inconsistent. I think I have the most consistent record in the UFC to date," Barry stated as a guest on Darce Side Radio recently. "I'd like to bet money on that. My record is pretty consistent: up, down, up down, up down, up, down, up, down, up, down. What is the reason behind that? I don't know."
"Every time we get in the ring we are going to war fighting. I don't take it easy on anybody. I don't sleep on anybody. I don't underestimate anybody. I get in there and I fight. I fight hard every time. Sometimes I win some. Sometimes I lose some. I haven't won two in a row yet. It's up, down, up down, up, down, up, down and it keeps on going that way. Maybe that's my fate, who knows?"
The Louisiana native has only gone to the judges one time in his UFC career, winning by unanimous decision over Joey Beltran at UFC "Fight for the Troops 2." In his other 10 fights, he has won and lost by knockout four times, and been submitted twice. It's "kill or be killed," and in the heavyweight division there isn't much of a margin for error.
Barry knows this. He also knows that UFC keeps him on the roster despite his record, because he always puts on an entertaining fight for the fans and he always leaves it all inside the Octagon. His legacy will most likely be the way that he fought, not the number of wins he had. He knows by fighting the way that he does, losses are part of the territory, but first and foremost, he is there to put on a show.
"We are athletes, but we are also entertainers," Barry said. "It's not just about fighting anymore; you have to be a character. We are entertainers. We are in the limelight. We are not just fighting for us and that's it and nothing else. A big part of what we do is what we are remembered by. I've never been one for half-assing anything. If we are going to do it, let's do it all the way. Why not? I've always been a fan for that."
"I've always been a fan of watching two guys get in there and just throw down and just go. Let's fight and let's see who wins. Let's macho, macho, whatever you want to call it... That's what I've always been interested in. That's always what's grabbed my attention more than anything else. That's how it's always been for me. Why take it easy? It's a fistfight. Go in there and do whatever it takes to win. If you get clipped, you get clipped, that's just part of it."
While that may be "part of it," as Barry suggested, that doesn't mean the losses don't get to him. He confessed to having an internal struggle with his variance of wins and losses and his fighting style, and to having the ability of going on a big winning streak if he changed up his style and played it safe.
"It's part of what comes with it. No one is going to win forever. Eventually you have to lose. For me, I lose every other fight. That's no good. I don't like that all. I have an everyday battle with myself. I could play it a lot safer. I guarantee you I can out jab anybody in the heavyweight division in the UFC. I promise you even more than that, that I can out run anybody in the heavyweight division in the UFC, but do I want to do that?"
"That wouldn't be me if I got in and all I did was throw two jabs and then run from you for 15 minutes and win by two punches. I have an everyday battle with myself, because could I go on a 10-fight win streak if I just played it safe and was just cautious and did enough to win and that's it. Could I play if safe and do that? Absolutely. Would I get a much bigger paycheck? Yeah sure, absolutely, but I wouldn't be able to sit with myself. That's not what I am. . If I did that and I went on a 10-fight win streak, I would get booed every time and no one would ever want to watch me fight again."
Barry said his match-up against Palelei is "the kind of match-up that people want to see on cards." The boyfriend of Invicta strawweight Rose Namajunas feels he matches up "perfectly" with the Australian.
"He's a big guy, who hits hard and finishes fights. I'm a somewhat big guy, who hits harder and I finish fights, also. That's what I am. Regardless of what people think, regardless of what peoples' opinions are and what backgrounds they come from, it doesn't matter -- it's fact -- people would rather see people get knocked unconscious than get submitted. It's just how it is."
"Soa and I have met before and I see the kind of person he is and he sees the kind of guy that I am and we know what kind of animals we are stepping into the ring with on Friday night. We are just going to go to war. We know what we want to do and what people want to see. We know what makes people happy and we are just going to go for it."
Barry was asked about the long coveted and oft-joked about first submission victory of his career. Could he get it this weekend?
"Well you know at one point in time, up until 10 minutes ago, I was like ‘Hey, it's always possible. It could definitely happen,'" Barry said. "But 10 minutes ago I find out this guy is a Abu Dhabi champion, a submission wrestling champion, a jiu-jitsu high-level black belt. I'm like ‘I didn't know any of that the whole training camp.'"
With Palelei's superb grappling background or not, this fight is most likely destined to be determined on the feet, a place that Barry has spent most of his career due to his striking and Sanshou background. The former K-1 kickboxer was asked his thoughts about his friend and occasional training partner, Mirko Filipovic signing on with GLORY.
"I think it's awesome," Barry said. "He's back where he is supposed to be. He is supposed to be punching and kicking people to death, and that's where it's at and that's what he should be doing."
And the possibility of the former Ernesto Hoost student, returning to kickboxing if his MMA career comes to a halt?
"If it gets to the point where I am fighting in GLORY, it means that I've done something wrong in the UFC, and that's bad," Barry said. "But is kickboxing out of the question throughout the rest of my lifetime? No not at all."