With just two wins in his seven most recent Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) appearances, Heavyweight mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Pat Barry announced his retirement from the sport earlier this afternoon.
Barry, 34, requested to be released from his contract so that he can hit people ... not wrestle. Indeed, despite his "indefinite" leave from MMA, "HD" has clearly left the door open to pursue other combat sports that don't require grappling.
This coming from a man who has been finished via strikes in back-to-back bouts thanks to Soa Palelei at UFC Fight Night 33 and Shawn Jordan at UFC 161. Nonetheless, perhaps the dread linked to his distaste for wrestling affected the outcomes of those performances.
Barry's management company, Suckerpunch Entertainment, release the following statement:
"After long discussions with our client Pat Barry over the recent weeks, he has come to the decision that he will be taking an indefinite leave from competing in MMA. The UFC and Zuffa have been very gracious in releasing him from his contract and Pat is very grateful for everything they have done for him and his career.
'Over the past few fights I’ve just had this sinking feeling in my stomach whenever I have stepped into the Octagon and I realize, I DON'T WANT TO WRESTLE. Not saying I will never do MMA again, but right now I just want to hit people. MMA and the UFC have been great to me and I will always support the company and the sport. I want to thank all my fans, sponsors and haters for being with me on this journey and I look forward to what future holds.' – HD!
'Pat and I have talked about this for a while now and with recent changes in the landscape of combat sports, he wants to explore some options and try to get back to his roots. He’s going to take a little time to clear his head and then we will explore our options. We will keep you posted on things as they develop.' – Brian Butler
Those "roots," of course, would most likely be kickboxing -- he competed on the K-1 circuit for more than two years between 2005 to 2007 before making the jump to MMA in mid-2008.
However, the hottest kickboxing show around right now, GLORY World Series, is currently in cahoots with former UFC broadcasting partner, and current bitter rival, Spike TV. Only time will tell where Barry ultimately settles, if anywhere, but it would be a stretch to see him on Spike TV anytime soon.
Barry leaves MMA with an average career record (8-7), but clearly the very best "Sexy Blizzard" dance ... ever.