UFC heavyweight and former K-1 kickboxer, Pat “HD” Barry (7-5, MMA), has been in Las Vegas working as an assistant coach for Team Carwin on The Ultimate Fighter season 16. Saturday he stopped by MMA Fight Corner and spoke about the upcoming season and when he’ll get back inside the Octagon.
The next season of The Ultimate Fighter will debut on Friday, September 14th at 9pm ET/PT in a special two hour premiere on FX. This season features 170 lb fighters that will be coached by UFC heavyweights Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson. The show will air at 10pm ET/PT on Fridays following the debut.
Though Pat Barry and Shane Carwin have never trained together, nor fought each other, they have crossed paths in their time in the UFC. Barry said when Carwin asked him about working on the show with him, it was an offer Barry couldn’t refuse.
“Shane and I have always gotten along, we have pretty similar personalities. We’ve always gotten along, so we’ve always done a lot of talking and he knows that I’m supposedly kind of good at kickboxing and I’m another heavyweight. So, I have a pretty decent personality, I mean I can get along with almost anybody and I can coach pretty well. I was just asked. As soon he got the call about being the coach on TUF 16, he brought in his own team, but he also asked if I could come in too to help him train and help the guys. I got offered the opportunity and I jumped on it,” Barry said.
Animosity between the two coaches who will fight at the TUF 16 Finale on December 15 in Las Vegas, has been mounting since it was announced they’d coach the show. Roy “Big Country” Nelson said in a UFC press release “As for being in the same room as [Carwin], I try not hang out with people that make me feel icky on the inside, but to coach TUF, I will make an exception.”
Carwin said of Nelson in a UFC press release, “I cannot respect a man like Roy Nelson – because he shows no respect himself. He is a keyboard warrior who doesn’t have the guts to talk trash to my face, but now he’s going to have to be in the same room, the same gym and finally the same Octagon as me.”
Without revealing too much, Barry said while taping was under way, the two didn’t see them interact very much. “They’ve done pretty well with keeping clear of each other.”
As for the show, Barry said you can expect to see some standout fighters and some of the usual antics we’ve come to expect from the show. The fighters he said are “sixteen individuals who have earned they’re way, they’ve earned an opportunity of a lifetime. They’re swinging for the fences man, this is the top of the mountain. The door is open now it’s up to them to step in. Just like any other show, you’re going to see 16 different characters, 16 totally different personalities and it’s going to be great.”
Most importantly, Barry took the assistant coaching very seriously and hopes that he’s in some way helped some up and comers find their way in the grueling sport of MMA. “I came here for the 16 guys, I came here for them. I didn’t come here for camera time, or to hang out in Las Vegas, I came here because I know what it’s like. I know a lot of vets out there know what it’s like, to be walking down this road all by yourself, with zero guidance, with zero coaches, with nothing. Now we’ve got sixteen guys all in a house who don’t know each other, they’re surrounded by 15 other strangers and they have to rely completely on coaches that they don’t know, that they’ve only heard about,” Barry explained. “I came out here for them because I’ve had a career, not completely, but I had a lot of time by myself walking into fights…I’ve had fights where at the end of the round I walked over to the corner, I grabbed my own water bottle, squeezed it into my mouth and put it down and went back in and fought. I’ve had to pull people out of the crowd to give me tips or something. I know what it’s like to be alone and all by yourself and be like ‘What’s the next move man?'”
While coaching on the show, Barry also trained with Shane showed him some him of his moves. He was blown away by Carwin’s sheer power and size. “There is such thing as being too big. He’s too strong for his own good,” Barry said of Carwin. After a long layoff from numerous back and neck surgeries that have kept Carwin out of fighting since UFC 131, Barry said he thinks Carwin will devastate in the Octagon upon his return. “He’s coming back and he’s gonna be the force that he was and always will be. The dude is an athlete. A man that big shouldn’t be able to do the things that he does, shouldn’t be able to move the way that he does. He picks up everything, you show him once and he’s got it. He’s not slipping man, he’s a really intelligent, focused guy.”
Aside from working on the show, Pat’s been up in Minnesota working with who he calls Greg “Black Belt in Everything” Nelson at Greg Nelson’s Mixed Martial Arts Academy in Minneapolis. He’s also still training with Marty Morgan and Cole Konrad. Since his last fight at UFC on FOX 3 in May against Lavar Johnson, Barry was medically suspended after breaking his thumb.
Today, he said he was medically cleared about 6 days ago from the broken thumb he suffered in the Johnson fight, but then realized his shoulder was hurting following a practice. Pat waited a couple days to see if the pain would subside, but ending up having an MRI done that revealed he either has a torn labrum, or a detached labrum. He was supposed to receive the official results of that test today. Barry added he might have to get surgery, but plans to be back by the end of the year no matter what.
“I told Joe Silva already. I already sent him a message saying ‘I’m cleared by the doctor. I can start training again.’ He was like ‘Alright, great when will you be ready?’ I was like ‘this morning’. By the end of this year, I’m going to punch somebody in the face, whether it’s in the UFC or in Walgreens.”