Nobody has ever questioned Pat Barry's ability to draw a crowd or connect with fans, but nobody knows if he's capable of putting together a winning streak.
With some fearsome knockout power and an underrated level of ground savvy, Barry has the tools to stick around in the UFC. That said, his willingness to go off-script to bang with fellow strikers and give his opponents the occasional hug has threatened to get him punted from the promotion a couple of times now, and a matchup with a hulking Shawn Jordan at UFC 161 wasn't doing him any favors.
When the bell rang on Saturday night, Jordan ended up landing a pair of huge uppercuts to set up a quick, efficient knockout victory. So what did we learn from this annihilation?
Shawn Jordan Might Be Somebody to Watch
While Barry isn't the most technically marvelous striker in the heavyweight division, he is no slouch, either. Jordan, a wrestler by trade, still found a way to punch off Barry's face in less than a minute.
In the heavyweight division, any fighter can give us a shocking knockout, but Jordan still made a strong statement with this KO. While people shouldn't go nuts and declare Jordan a title contender, this victory adds a bit more weight to his 4-2 UFC record.
Again, don't go nuts, but next time Jordan enters the Octagon, you might want to keep a closer eye on him than you may have before.
Pat Barry's Chin Is Questionable
Again, this is the heavyweight division. Any declaration on somebody's ability to take a punch needs to be prefaced with that.
Still, Barry owns a 5-6 UFC record, with three of those losses coming from knockouts and the rest coming by submission. Furthermore, at least one of those submission losses was set up by strikes, when he lost to Mirko Filipovic at UFC 115. As a guy who gives up a size and reach advantage to almost every other heavyweight, Barry needs to be able to eat a punch or two.
Barry may be content remaining a fan favorite, but he is going to have a lot of trouble remaining relevant in the UFC's heavyweight division.
Pat Barry Should Be a Light Heavyweight
I know this comes up a lot.
Seriously, though, Barry has crazy knockout power and explosiveness. He just doesn't have the chin and size to last in the heavyweight division.
I don't know if he can make it down to 205 pounds, but I do know that he is going to remain on the short list of fighters who might be potentially cut as long as he keeps getting knocked out. He should consider dropping down to light heavyweight to extend his UFC career.
The Heavyweight Division Is a Matchmaking Dream
For the first time in a while, the UFC has a few relevant fighters looking to climb the rankings in the heavyweight division. In addition to Jordan, there are several recently imported European prospects such as Daniel Omielanczuk and Nikita Krylov, Australian veteran Soa Palelei, and Americans Brendan Schaub and Todd Duffee.
Throwing those fighters into the cage against one another and seeing who emerges will yield at least one legitimate Top-10 fighter.
These up-and-coming fighters make the UFC's heavyweight division more interesting now than it has been for a long time. Watch how things pan out between all these fighters.