“Hype or Die” is not just Pat “HD” Barry’s Twitter handle, but it also represents what the two letters in his nickname mean. In short it means, give any effort put forth 100 percent.
The charismatic UFC Heavyweight has become a fan favorite over the years for throwing every ounce of his 5′ 11″ frame into his action-packed performances.
Outside of the Octagon, his boisterous demeanor and fun-loving personality always shine through whether he’s tweeting his take on zombies or cornering his girlfriend Rose Namajunas who fights in Invicta FC. On social media, Barry is well-known for posting videos of virtually anything under the sun that often brings smiles to faces.
Inside the cage, he’s the type of fighter that will lay it all out on the line and go for broke. In his tenure with the UFC, Barry’s raked in four post-fight bonuses. Sometimes his come forward approach has cost him. Other times, his aggressive striking has paid off. But no matter what, fans can always count on Barry to try to win by any means necessary come fight time.
At UFC Fight Night 33, Barry (8-6) has the challenge of being on foreign soil against hometown hero and Australian native Soa Palelei (19-3).
In his return to the Octagon, Palelei came in riding a 8-fight win streak with all stoppages coming in the first round. Though his debut against Nikita Krylov may not have been his most exciting win to date, “The Hulk” got the job done, extended his win streak and ended Krylov’s hope of a successful debut with strikes in the third round.
“He’s a dangerous guy, but so is everybody,” said Barry in an interview with MMA Fight Corner. “Everybody who’s contracted in the UFC is at the top level. He’s humongous, he’s dangerous, he’s really experienced. We’re in his hometown…pretty much in his area, so the crowd’s going to be here mainly supporting him. But this is like, we’re on his hometurf – at least more his hometurf than mine. He’s huge, he’s really experienced, he’s well-rounded, I mean he’s everywhere and he’s really aggressive. So, that’s exactly the kind of fight that I’m always looking for.”
Upon his arrival in Australia, Barry’s first take of the breathtaking scenery was that it looked like something out of ‘The Truman Show’ or ‘The Simpsons’. For the former kickboxer, travelling distances far and away to fight is nothing new. His flight arrived just 24 hours ago in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and he’s trying to adapt to the time change as quickly as possible.
Barry last fought at UFC 161 where he faced someone he regards as a friend in Shawn Jordan. However, Pat’s night ended before he could even get started. Jordan finished Barry with punches in under a minute into the scrap.
After the bout, photos came out revealing that Jordan’s fingers connected with Barry’s eye prior to the knockout. Though Pat isn’t using that as an excuse for why he lost that night, he realizes that it is imperative for him to walk away with his hand raised come Friday night.
Knowing what an elite stable of combatants the UFC keeps on their roster, Barry is well aware of the adage “you’re only as good as your last fight”.
“It was an unfortunate night for me. Is it extremely important for me to rebound from that? Absolutely. But not only rebound, but send a statement. So now I’m fighting an even bigger guy in Soa Palelei,” said Barry to MMA Fight Corner. “We’re here in his home, like I said, his area. So not only do I have a fight to win, but also a message to send for the previous one because everybody remembers your last outing for the most part. So I’m that guy that came in, did all these interviews, and then had a 42 second performance and then was out off of nothing.”
“That’s what I’m coming in with on my shoulders. I’ve gotta not only shake that off of my shoulders, but I’ve also got to shake this really big guy that’s standing across from me.”
The matchup of these two heavyweights isn’t only interesting because of Palelei’s size, but also because Barry was an elite kickboxer and Palelei was former wrestling champion who also owns a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Ahead of their collision on FOX Sports 1, Barry believes one of his advantages is his footwork and agility.
“I should be faster. I should be capable of moving more than he does. That should be the plan and honestly, I think I hit harder than he does if not harder,” Barry stated. “So that’ll be good to my advantage also since I am sort of a small package.”
“He’s as tall as he is wide, like he’s all around just a big guy. So, if he is capable of getting the fight to the ground, he’s going to have the somewhat upperhand. But, I don’t necessarily suck on the ground either. I’d like to keep it standing as much as possible,” Barry added.
“Regardless of what anybody on the planet says, people would rather see two guys punch and kick each other than they would like to see guys wrestle and submit each other.”
Pat Barry vs. Soa Palelei goes down this Friday (in North America) on FOX Sports 1 with the first bout kicking off at 3:30pm PST online. Prelims can be seen on FOX Sports 2 at 4pm PST and the main card airs on FOX Sports 1 at 6pm PST. UFC Fight Night 33’s main event, Mark Hunt vs. Antonio “Big Foot” Silva, will emanate from the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Check out the full interview with Pat Barry here: