Have you ever wondered how Pat Barry, perhaps the most outgoing and jovial UFC
fighter out there, ended up becoming friends and training partners with Mirko Cro Cop and Brock Lesnar
, perhaps the two most surly and intimidating fighters in the sport? Well, you're not alone.
Over the past year, Barry, who meets Christian Morecraft
Friday night at UFC on FX Fight Night, has trained closely with both Lesnar and Cro Cop, and he swears that the sometimes-grumpy heavyweights are nothing like they appear to be. He also understands why they feel comfortable around him, even though he's nothing like them.
"When it comes down to all the different characters in the UFC, I definitely believe nobody is afraid of me," Barry said. "People don't fear me. The reason why that is is they get really comfortable with my personality; they get really comfortable with my demeanor, because I'm not a bad ass. I'm a nice guy; I'm a cool guy. I can laugh and joke with anybody. I don't have any enemies in the UFC. I don't hate people. Nobody has any reason to dislike me. I haven't given anyone in the UFC any reason to not like Pat Barry or to not be cool with me. They get confused with that. You can have a pet lion who's nice and sweet and then 10 years later of being your best friend, all of a sudden it bites your head off. They get too accustomed to my personality and they tend to get a little sleepy and they forget that I am dangerous. If I do hit you, it will hurt. I am capable of winning fights every time I step through the door.
"Now, people like Brock Lesnar and people like Cro Cop understood that. They knew that. [They thought], This is a really nice guy, he's not really scary, but when it comes down to it, he'll punch your head off your body as soon as the door closes in the building. It doesn't matter who you are. I don't back down from anyone. I don't cower to anyone. I don't fear the next person standing next to me, it doesn't matter who it is. I'm going to come after you like a wild ... squirrel."
Asked who's more intimidating to be around initially, Barry didn't have to think twice.
"Brock, definitely. Brock is a very, very, very guarded individual. He's been around a zillion people, who are just trying to be around him and that's it. Cro Cop has been around [that] too, but I just think Cro Cop has been around fighters more than Brock has. So Brock being a fighter, all of a sudden being the superstar of the world and being the biggest name to come around, he hasn't been doing this for 25 years. For Cro Cop, June makes it 20 years since he put gloves on and started competing at a professional level. He's cool, man. He's been around long enough to where he can see people coming a mile away. He knows whether or not you're all right. With Brock, it still takes him a feeling out process before he opens up and becomes a cool guy. Now, are they both just genuinely nice, cool dudes, who like to laugh and pull pranks? Yes. But initially, it takes a lot longer to get accepted by Brock than Cro Cop. Or at least it took me a lot longer."
Speaking of pranks, Barry pulled the ultimate one on Cro Cop late last year when he filmed the Croat singing his heart out to The Mamas and The Papas' "California Dreaming.'"
Barry said Cro Cop didn't know he was being filmed and would ultimately be seen by thousands of people online, which makes one question Barry's sanity.
"I'm holding the phone on my lap," Barry said. "I was just holding it with the back to it. It looked like it was just sitting in my hand. It was great."
Not surprisingly, Cro Cop was none too pleased when he found out the clip was a viral hit online.
"Of course, I got the I'm going to kick your ass messages next time I see you. And I was like, Yeah, it's cool. I'll just make sure I won't come to Croatia for a while until he forgets about it."
Interestingly enough, no such videos of Lesnar have surfaced online just yet.