Less than a week after announcing his indefinite hiatus from MMA, former UFC heavyweight Pat Barry has revealed his next move — he’ll be competing as a kickboxer again, beginning next month. Barry, who confirmed the news with Ariel Helwani on today’s installment of The MMA Hour, explained that something was missing in his last UFC fights, specifically a love for the ground game. And so, he wants to return to his standup roots, and (I quote) “let’s see who has the biggest nuts in the ring.”
Barry’s return to kickboxing officially begins March 22nd, where he’ll be competing at the WKA North American Championships in Richmond, Virginia, against an opponent to be named later. (Update: MiddleEasy reports that it’s a dude named Ed Burris.) Barry has also signed a two-fight deal with the GLORY kickboxing league, and will likely make his debut in May (date/venue/opponent all TBD
). Though GLORY is arguably the highest-profile kickboxing promotion that runs shows in the U.S., Barry would automatically become the most famous American star on its roster — a mutually fortuitous situation, you could say.
Since GLORY’s heavyweight division has become a bullpen for old K-1 stars — with Semmy Schilt, Jerome Le Banner, Remy Bonjasky, Peter Aerts, Ewerton Teixeira, and even Mirko Cro Cop among them — there’s no shortage of headlining matchups that Barry could find himself in this year and beyond. He’s excited, we’re excited, and we’ll update you when we hear more details.