The days of the short, 230 pound heavyweights are gone, right? The dominant heavyweights all seem to be in excess of 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds. Don't be fooled. Size isn't everything. The most dominant boxer in the last 30 years was a 5-11 Mike Tyson. And the best MMA heavyweight is 6-foot Fedor Emelianenko. Those facts inspire a shorter heavyweight like Pat Barry, who is making his UFC debut against Dan Evensen. Barry is making the transition from K-1/kickboxing to mixed martial arts:
"It's kind of like a Mike Tyson against everybody's he fought," said Barry. "What really solidified me being able to stay at my size was meeting Fedor. Fedor is the greatest in the world. He's 230 pounds and we're eye to eye. But the dude is a monster, he's a killer. And it doesn't matter. He's handling people left and right."
Cage Writer caught up with one of the UFC's newest heavyweight imports.
Barry also talked a lot about being a student again. He's just six months into learning mixed martial arts.
"I think I did what most big guys do. I got into jiu-jitsu my very first day. I'm a big guy, (I figured) if i grab you it's over for you. Then i got folded in half by a 140 pound guy. Wrestling and jiu-jitsu has to be the scariest thing I've ever experienced."
This is very similar to what Ray Sefo another kickboxer trying MMA told us last week:
"Because it really doesn't matter how big you are," said Barry, 29. "If you don't know what you're doing, there's nothing that you can do about it. If one of these guys grabs you it's over. Even if you do squiggle away from them and you get back to your feet, you're so tired you can't punch and kick anymore."
Barry is selling himself short. He's been working extensively with fighters like Eric Schafer, Ben Rothwell, Stephan Bonnar and Alan Belcher. He won't be a master on the ground but he shouldn't be destroyed. If the oddsmakers know what they're doing, then they're saying Barry should be just fine. He's a -160 favorite in his UFC debut against Evensen, a guy with 13 professional MMA fights. Barry was 3-4 in K-1 and 25-6 overall in kickboxing.
He also told a good story at the end of the interview about asking Wanderlei Silva for an autograph. This card is a big deal for guys who are new to the promotion being around legends like Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Quinton Jackson.
Check out Cage Writer's UFC 92 picks here.
NOTE: Cage Writer will be live cageside on Saturday night with updates after each fight. Fight fans can also listen to the Yahoo! Sports/ESPNRadio1100 UFC 92 live post-fight show at the MGM Grand. Click here to listen on Saturday from 10:30-Midnight.