Although Pat Barry suffered a heartbreaking loss to Cheick Kongo at UFC on Versus 4, one positive came out of the thrilling bout: Barry finally knows how to fight without fearing a knockout.
Heading into the fight Barry had never been knocked out at any level — nine MMA fights, a host of kickboxing matches, no knockouts.
Barry admitted in an interview on The MMA Hour that in every fight he had always “held back because of that fear.”
But now that he knows what it feels like, he’ll never have to hold back in the future again and knows how to fight without that burden.
“So it was kind of a relief. Like, it finally happened,” Barry said. “Now I honestly can’t wait to get back into the next one and really go off on someone, because now I don’t have to worry about what it’s like anymore. I don’t have that fear of what’s going to happen, because now I already know.”
This is exactly why Pat Barry is one of the most likable fighters in mixed martial arts. Not only is he good for constant comic relief, he takes losses like a champion.
What other fighter could possibly find a positive from a fight he had in the bag only to be on the losing end of one of the most stunning comebacks in MMA history? What other fighter would come out and say that “it would be a terrible injustice” if referee Dan Miragliotta would have stopped the fight after Barry knocked down Kongo?
“If Dan Miragliotta would have stopped it, he would have robbed Cheick Kongo of one of the best comebacks in UFC history,” Barry said. “And if he would have stopped it, he would have robbed the fans of one of the most exciting endings in the history of the UFC.”
Few fighters could take a loss like that but say they will be a better fighter because of it. Although he’s 1-2 in his last three fights, Barry can finally exhale. The burden of being knocked out has finally been lifted. The worst is over, and according to Barry, it wasn’t nearly as bad as he thought.
“I was like, this is what this feels like? First, I was having this little moment, almost like when you’re a kid and you finally get on that scary roller coaster, like the Texas Giant that you’ve been avoiding for years and years,” Barry said. “Then you finally get on and you realize it’s not that bad. Guess what, you don’t die when you get on it. … I got knocked out, but I’m still alive. I can get up, walk around, still function. I’m okay. It’s not as bad as I thought.”
So although he saw what would have been a huge win evaporate before his eyes, Pat Barry now knows how to fight without the fear of a knockout.