Pat Barry, the heavyweight whose colorful personality, punching power and love of a brawl made him one of the most popular fighters among the UFC's hardcore fan base, announced through his manager on Tuesday that he is leaving mixed martial arts.
Barry, 34, who was 5-7 in the UFC, was granted his release from the promotion by his own request. He was knocked out in his last two fights and in three of his last four.
Barry alluded to the move on social media, and wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, "Thank you everyone!!!"
Earlier on Tuesday, he wrote, "I said weeks back a change was coming. After going for a long walk with Rose, we've made a decision. Stay tuned."
He never specified what he meant, but his manager, Brian Butler of SuckerPunch Entertainment, posted the news on Facebook.
He noted that Barry will take a leave from MMA and suggested that Barry may return to kickboxing. Neither Barry nor Butler ever said Barry is retiring.
"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 "