UFC heavyweight Pat Barry taking 'indefinite leave' from mixed martial arts

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It appears the mixed martial arts run of UFC heavyweight Pat Barry has come to an end. For now, anyway.

According to a distributed press release by his management where his departure is labeled a retirement, Barry, 34, is taking 'an indefinite leave of absence' from professional mixed martial arts competition. The statement indicates Barry asked for and was given his release from his existing UFC contract.

"After long discussions with our client Pat Barry over the recent weeks, he has come to the decision that he will be taking an indefinite leave from competing in MMA," his management said via the statement. "The UFC and Zuffa have been very gracious in releasing him from his contract and Pat is very grateful for everything they have done for him and his career."

Barry exits the sport for now with an 8-7 record. However, he lost three of his last four bouts, including his last two. He most recently competed at UFC Fight Night 33 in December where he lost to Soa Palelei via first-round knockout.

"Over the past few fights I've just had this sinking feeling in my stomach whenever I have stepped into the Octagon and I realize, I DONT WANT TO WRESTLE," Barry said. "Not saying I will never do MMA again, but right now I just want to hit people. MMA and the UFC have been great to me and I will always support the company and the sport. I want to thank all my fans, sponsors and haters for being with me on this journey and I look forward to what future holds."

"Pat and I have talked about this for a while now and with recent changes in the landscape of combat sports, he wants to explore some options and try to get back to his roots," said his manager Brian Butler. "He's going to take a little time to clear his head and then we will explore our options. We will keep you posted on things as they develop."

Barry came to MMA from kickboxing where he amassed an 18-6-1 record and fought nine times for the K-1 organization from 2005 to 2007. He made his UFC debut with a 3-0 record at UFC 92 in December of 2008 where he defeated Dan Evensen via first-round TKO.

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