Going 3-4 in the UFC, including dropping your last two fighters, like Pat Barry is often a sure-fire way to see yourself cut from the promotion. Hell, Antonio McKee lost one fight and was given the boot by Dana White. But as we have come to discover about the wildly subjective ways in which the UFC determines who should stay within their fold and who should be cut, more times than not it’s how a fighter fights that may prove to be their safety net when their career gets a little bumpy.
Fans call it the “Dan Hardy Rule.”
The rule is simple in its philosophy. If you are a fighter who sells tickets and fights in an exciting manner then the likelihood of you being given ample chances by the UFC is infinitely greater than if you are a tedious “lay and pray” type of fighter who grinds out wins in the most uninspiring manner. This brings us to Barry who recently suffered his second consecutive defeat this past Saturday at the hands of Stefan Struve. Barry’s unremarkable run in the UFC would be reason to justify the promotion parting ways but there is something in Barry that insulates him from such exposer.
I am a big fan of Barry’s. I have a special soft sport in my heart for kick boxers and Barry is one of the most talented strikers in MMA today. Plus, when you factor in that he is arguably one of the most affable guys in the game right now, and well, you have yourself a fighter who really connects with his fans. But you see, this is the very reason why Barry has found himself in the good graces of the UFC. It’s not about wins and losses sometimes, much to the chagrin of the purist, it’s about entertainment value. From an entertainment perspective a fighter like Barry is much more valuable to the UFC promotion than, say, fighters like Jon Fitch.
Dana White went on record following Saturday’s UFC on Versus 6 card saying that, “[Barry] always brings it.” Obviously, when Barry is on he’s one of the more exciting heavyweights to watch but the holes in his game are pretty damn glaring. I’m pretty certain that given that Barry’s creates weakness (wrestling) is the strongest aspect of the UFC’s heavyweight contenders it’s safe to say that unless he really focuses on this ground game Barry will be stuck as a mid-tier fighter.
So, to answer the premise of this post, no, I’m confident that right now Barry is safe with the UFC. But, should Barry continue to find himself on the losing end of future fights then it would be harder for Dana White to justify his place in the UFC.