The finale of TUF 16 proved to be an exciting night.
Pat Barry, the UFC heavyweight who grew up in New Orleans defeated Shane del Rosario 26 seconds into the second round last night by repeatedly punching him in the head. The brutal knockout earned him knockout of the night honors. The fight brought his MMA record to 8-5 (8 of the fights have been in the UFC versus extremely high level opponents). Barry also won an extra $40,000 for the knockout.
Immediately following the fight Barry referenced the attacks in Connecticut this week with an emotional request to fans saying, “if got kids go hug them like its your last day.” He also paid tribute to his girlfriend Rose Namajunas, a 115 pound MMA fighter that he met in Milwaukee at Duke Roufus’ gym.
Shane del Rosario seemed to be the perfect match-up for Barry, with an 8-1 kickboxing record, having won the WBC World Kickboxing Championship in 2008. And Shane del Rosario fought well in the first round, closing the distance with Barry and outworking him in the clench and on the ground. But Shane del Rosario rushed a choke, riding up too high without securing his hooks, and wasn’t able to snatch Barry’s arm during a transition. The result of the scramble on the ground was Barry ending up in side control on top of his opponent for the last fifteen seconds of the first round. Barry’s defense showed that his strength training and grappling practice is going to make him more competitive in the UFC heavyweight division.
In the second round Barry went back to what he does best, punching people in the face. A tired Shane Del Rosario seemed to have now answers for the heat brought by Barry. The win was redemption for Barry, who rushed Cheick Kongo, having nearly knocked him out with a flurry of punches, only to be flattened by an overhand right seconds after nearly securing the biggest victory of his career.
It remains to be seen who will be the next opponent for Barry, but he seems to have proven that he belongs in the heavyweight division in the UFC even though in many respects, particularly with grappling, he has had to do on the job training.
Louisiana is becoming known as a town that produces many of the most exciting strikers in combat sports. Dustin Poirier of Lafeyette scored a submission vs. Jonathan Brookins last night, but Poirier’s striking set up the position.
Barry, who has come to POWER MMA in New Orleans to train and teach seminars when he is in town has helped to inspire a group of up and coming strikers including local phenom Kyle Martin, who recently defeated Ricky Bates at Prestige Fights 7.