To many fans, Zack Mwekassa's brutal knockout on Pat Barry was a surprise, including the thousands in attendance on Saturday night. Mwekassa had made a name for himself for the fans who were watching, but he also proved a point; Kickboxing is a very different sport than MMA. Pat Barry voluntarily left the UFC after two brutal knockout losses to lesser opponents, Shawn Jordan and Soa Paleli. The big story, though, was that Pat Barry had chosen to fight for GLORY over fighting for the UFC.
One can only assume that GLORY are ready to roll out the red carpet to similar defectors, especially after someone like Dustin Jacoby became a Spike TV darling with his very limited UFC exposure, only to turn into a credible Kickboxer. For Pat Barry it seemed like all of the pieces fit together; Pat had a moderately successful Kickboxing career in the past, found himself booked on K-1 events between 2005 and 2007 before going on to have an explosive UFC career. Pat Barry was known as a slugger, a guy who put on entertaining fights, with many glazing over his last few fights (or any post-Kongo, really) and ignoring the fact that of his seven losses in the UFC, four were by Knockout.
That's a lot for a striker, especially a lot for a guy looking to make a go of a Kickboxing career. But, all that we can do now is reflect on the situation and Monday morning quarterback, although there is something very important to take away from this situation; you can't just walk into Kickboxing after being a MMA fighter and expect success. Kickboxing picked up a bum rap after K-1 started with some exotic booking decisions, such as bringing in Alistair Overeem, Gegard Mousasi, Tatsuya Kawajiri and a few others into K-1 bouts. When they saw success, many saw Kickboxing as a "lesser" sport, one that MMA fighters could walk into and see success in with ease.
GLORY 10 Middleweight Champion Joe Schilling has said this many times; there are no easy fights in GLORY. That is something that Pat Barry should have taken to heart and something for future MMA-defectors to consider when coming into Kickboxing. You can't just waltz right in and become a champion, you have to put in the work and it is going to take time. Some will see Pat Barry's loss as a failure on GLORY's part, but on the contrary, Pat Barry's loss shows just how serious of a sport it is, as well as it being a lot more than just a "part" of MMA like Laura Prepon so ignorantly stated at GLORY 10 during an on-screen interview.
Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.
His second novel, Terminus Cycle, launches on March 24th.