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Pat Barry Announces Hiatus From MMA, Just Wants to ‘Hit People’ Right Now

(Best war-face in MMA. / Photo via Getty)

Over the past five years, Pat Barry has been a beloved presence in the UFC’s heavyweight division. From his savage striking and heartfelt post-fight interviews to his crazy-ass YouTube videos and general passion for life, he’s always been an easy human being to root for. And now he’s gone — for a while, at least.

Barry’s management company SuckerPunch Entertainment posted the following message on its Facebook page yesterday evening:

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 DONT 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

After winning his first three MMA fights by throwing just six kicks, Barry went on to compile a 5-7 record in the UFC. Of those 12 fights, only one went to the judges — his decision win against Joey Beltran in January 2011. Barry also picked up two UFC Fight of the Night bonuses (for his victories against Antoni Hardonk and Christian Morecraft) and two Knockout of the Night bonuses (for the Hardonk win and for his second-round KO of Shane Del Rosario).

Unfortunately, Barry was unable to find consistent success in the Octagon, and never won two UFC fights in a row. Though his submission losses to Tim Hague, Mirko Cro Cop, and Stefan Struve could partly be blamed on his lack of comfort with the ground-game, Barry also suffered knockout losses while trading bombs with Cheick Kongo, Lavar Johnson, and Shawn Jordan. In his most recent UFC appearance at UFC Fight Night 33, Barry was quickly mounted by Soa Palelei and finished with punches from the top.

Instead of taking further lumps as a heavyweight gatekeeper, “Hype or Die” walks away on his own terms, and we hope to see him come back on his own terms someday, perhaps in a major kickboxing league like GLORY. But for now, the man deserves a rest, and some time to spend with the people he loves. Go with God, man-fish…

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