October 24, 2009
Pat Barry was fighting a lot of emotions heading into his UFC 104 fight against Antoni Hardonk. The two trained together for four years in Amsterdam when they were both fighting in K-1. Barry, who is making a much later transition from kickboxing to MMA than Hardonk, also had his confidence cracked his last time out when he was submitted by Tim Hague. Another submission loss may have meant a trip to unemployment line for him.
Hardonk added to Barry's challenges early in the fight with two eye pokes. Barry, one of the shortest heavyweights in the UFC, overcame all that to put on a striking exhibition in the second round. He floored the 6-foot-4 Hardonk by bouncing a right off the side of head. The Dutchman went down, took one more shot from Barry and then covered his head to signal that he was done at 2:30 of the round.
Barry, with his right eye swelling from the eye pokes, was fired up after fight, "Antoni Hardonk is the man. I wanted this fight so badly. Sorry for being a little emotional, that meant everything in the world to me."
Barry (5-1, 2-1 UFC) gave credit to his MMA coach Duke Roufus, who also comes from the world of kickboxing.
"He told me looping punches don't work all the time. My leader Duke says straight punches work better against taller fighters."
Barry really stymied Hardonk (8-6, 3-4 UFC) in the final round. He landed the jab and straight lefts from a southpaw stance anytime he wanted to. Before the fight, the 5-11 Barry suggested there was no way Hardonk would stand with him the entire fight because he knew from the prior time training that he was the better striker.
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