Heavyweight: Standing in front of Barry ‘a dumb decision’
After finishing his workout at the Nashville MMA Academy, while answering some on-camera questions for a website, Morecraft had his interview bum-rushed by Barry, who mugged for the camera with typical Barry good humor – cracking Morecraft up the whole time.
But make no mistake, Morecraft finds very little of the challenge of fighting Pat Barry a laughing matter. The two heavyweights open the Friday main-card broadcast of UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
“How do you get ready to get kicked by Pat Barry?” Morecraft responded Wednesday to what he believed was a fairly rhetorical question regarding his opponent’s kickboxing prowess. “You try to avoid it? That makes two of us.”
Morecraft (7-2, 1-2 UFC) is coming off a highlight reel fight of the wrong kind in June against Barry pal Matt Mitrione, who drilled him with a right hand in Pittsburgh and turned around and walked back to his corner – knowing Morecraft was out before he hit the canvas. There are knockout possibilities to fear in Barry, as well, but there’s also the knowledge of what could happen by staying in the wheelhouse of Barry’s leg kicks.
“I think it would be a dumb decision to stand in front of Pat Barry and let him kick me in the leg,” Morecraft elaborated for HeavyMMA. “It’s obvious to stay away from it and execute my game plan. If I stand in front of him, of course he’s going to kick the (crap) out of my leg and pound my legs up.”
Morecraft will be the third opponent in a row with a big height advantage over the 5-foot-11 Barry, one of the division’s smallest heavyweights. And Barry (6-4, 3-4 UFC) has back-to-back losses over those other tall boys, Stefan Struve and Cheick Kongo. Morecraft is 6-6, but doesn’t think height will matter this time for Barry.
“I’m sure he’s worked on being able to get in and execute better,” Morecraft said. “Unfortunately, the heavyweight division is a bunch of 6-foot-6 mongoloids. But I’m sure he’s been working his game plan. He’s a great athlete, a great striker and he’s got some dangerous tools to bring. I can’t wait to fight Pat Barry – he’s an animal.”
He also knows the prestige that could come with a victory over “HD,” who has lost three of four – but all in memorable fashion, even though he was on the wrong end of the outcome. Coming off a loss of his own, Morecraft said there is never a good time for two straight losses.
But he also believes a win points him in the right direction to make some noise in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
“I’m young – 25 years old, and I can’t wait to keep growing and advancing,” Morecraft said. “I’ll be at the top of the chain soon. Time, execution and obviously wins help. I lost my last fight, so it’s time to redeem that and come out with a big victory on Friday … Pat Barry’s a big name. Everyone loves Pat Barry – I love him myself. A win over Pat Barry is going to be huge in my win column.”
In addition to the main event lightweight bout between Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller, who recently had long winning streaks snapped, UFC on FX 1 features a a welterweight fight featuring Josh Neer and Duane Ludwig on the main card, plus bantamweights Mike Easton and Jared Papazian. The four-fight main card airs live on FX at 9 p.m. Eastern. The preliminary card will be broadcast on Fuel TV.