Veteran UFC heavyweight Pat Barry‘s days as an MMA fighter appear to be over.
The 34-year-old’s manager, Brian Butler, today said Barry is taking an “an indefinite leave from competing in MMA” and has been released from his UFC contract, according to a statement sent to MMAjunkie.
Based on a quote provided by Barry, the fighter isn’t walking away from combat sports completely, leaving open the door for a potential return to kickboxing. But MMA won’t factor into any immediate plans.
The full 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 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
Despite his mediocre MMA record, Barry (8-7 MMA, 5-7 UFC) has long been a fan favorite due to his propensity for slugfests and a boisterous personality. Undersized for the division, he’s still fought many heavyweight notables, defeating the likes of Joey Beltran, Christian Morecraft and Shane del Rosario during his five-plus years in the promotion.
However, Barry, who also owns an 18-6-1 pro kickboxing record, has lost two straight and three of his past four. All of the defeats have come via first-round knockout.
Butler didn’t reveal any immediate plans for Barry.