Pat Barry came into UFC 104 with all the pressures of the world on his shoulders. Not only was he looking to get the obvious win, but the kickboxing stand-out desperately needed to prove his worth to himself and his former coach, Ernesto Hoost, who had given up on him. He also had to fight his good friend and former training partner, Antoni Hardonk, who refused to shake hands at the beginning of their bout. Barry insists that he and Hardonk are still great friends, but admits it felt great to beat a guy who still trains under his former coach.
You would think that having to fight a former training partner, facing possible UFC cuts and wanting to show up the man who gave up on you would be enough, but Barry also had heavy financial problems as he came into this fight with $0 to his name. After beating Hardonk and earning two UFC fight bonuses, the Duke Roufus product can rest a little easier for now.
Our own Tommy Kail catches up with Barry just two days after the most important fight of his career.
FiveKnuckles.com: Is there a reason why Antoni Hardonk didn't touch gloves with you at the start of the fight?
Pat Barry: That's what he had to do to get himself mentally in the zone for this fight. He's a very nice guy. He's a very genuine guy. He's a respectful fighter and normally touches gloves with everybody else. This fight was emotionally draining for the both of us. That's basically what he needed to do to take me out of the friend category that I've always been in to him and view me as the enemy for our time in the cage, which isn't the easiest thing to do.
FiveKnuckles.com: Is there any bad blood between the two of you being that you're former training partners?
Pat Barry: Absolutely not. There never was. I know don't how that rumor got started. There's never been any bad blood between the two of us. We've always been friends; we're always going to be friends. He's a great guy, I learned a lot from him, and I'm glad to have met him.
FiveKnuckles.com: You got poked in the eye a couple times during the fight. How did that affect your performance?
Pat Barry: I was definitely startled by the first poke. I was a little shook up because I couldn't see. And it hurt (laughs). I really didn't know what to do. I kind of panicked and ran for cover, which I'm not sure if that was the manly thing to do or not (laughs). The first one really bothered me, the second one was more frustrating than anything else. It bothered me for a split second, but I was more upset that I got poked in eye twice during a fight with such a high caliber guy like Antoni.
FiveKnuckles.com: Were you surprised to win both "Knockout of the Night" and "Fight of the Night" honors?
Pat Barry: Yes, I was. I was definitely surprised to win both honors. I was especially surprised to win the "Knockout of the Night" because Anthony "Rumble" Johnson knocked his opponent [Yoshiyoki Yoshida] out with one strike, which was an impressive knockout. As soon as I saw someone else get knocked out, I just automatically assumed it wouldn't be...