Barry was one of the head coaches and cornermen for Namajunas at UFC 274, where “Thug Rose” dropped her strawweight title in a widely-panned rematch against Carla Esparza. Barry, who is also Namajunas’ fiancé, reflected on the disappointing performance and addressed the criticism on Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour , explaining that the game plan for Namajunas was to first draw Esparza into being the aggressor, then capitalize once she did. And in Barry’s eyes, that game plan would’ve been effective if other circumstances hadn’t gotten in the way once Namajunas tried to flip the switch.
“If you make mistakes at this level, the consequences are pretty heavy. The consequences are pretty heavy, man,” Barry told host Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour . “So we went into this fight with a strategy. We have Carla memorized, man. We know everything that she’s going to do before she does it. We know what it looks like, we know when to avoid, when to attack. This is a strategic, perfect game plan. And just so everyone knows, we went in there for the win. The plan was to win the fight. The plan was to do this thing in particular, and if you do this thing, people are going to start booing — they are going to start booing — but that’s only because they don’t know what’s going on. And when they do start booing, Carla is going to open up — and when she does, bam, there it is. That’s the game.
“In the fight, [Namajunas] did everything perfect, bro. Perfect. I love the UFC and I’ve loved everything that UFC does for everyone, and I love it, I love the organization. But I will say, in the fight, there’s three moments — but there’s two in particular — where bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, here it comes, this is the time, and when Rose went to throw the punch, her foot slipped. And I saw that. I saw it. I saw her foot slide. And when it did, I know my head went crazy. … And when the opportunity for that one thing that we trained for came again and she went — foot slipped a second time,” Barry continued.
“I love UFC and everything they do, but this is, out of all the fights I’ve ever had, even back in my career, this is the slipperiest canvas you can ever fight on. Which, at that moment, when she had the opening for the kill, the second time, when she went for it and that foot slipped, I had a moment of clarity, man. I don’t know. Just all of a sudden I went from this crazy [demeanor] to completely just calm. Apparently, the world is trying to make this very difficult for you. Apparently, something is going on. Because of course Rose and her spirituality, and we look at things so I have to think a certain way because she thinks a certain way — something is trying to stop you from winning this fight.”
Barry said he Namajunas locked eyes in the cage once her foot slipped a second time. The bout had been a listless affair up to that point, with both women fighting extremely defensively. So the second slip simply reinforced in both Barry and Namajunas’ minds the importance of sticking to their game plan, rather than getting discouraged by the missed opportunities and doing something out frustration of that Namajunas would’ve regretted.
“As a coach, yes, we’re there to win fights. But we’re really there for longevity and happiness,” Barry said. “That’s what my job is, man. Not only am I a coach, but as a partner, fiancé, whatever you want to label me as, that’s my job, is to make sure that Rose is happy, healthy, and safe for the rest of her life. So in that moment, I felt, ‘You know what? This is one of those scenarios where now that you’ve seen it twice and you’ve missed it twice, this is exactly the type of thing that’s supposed to throw you off your game and make you come out of your strategy. And when you do come out of your strategy and you really go for it, you might accidentally slip and throw yourself on the ground, and now you fell on the ground because you did something you weren’t supposed to do.’
“Now she’s on top of you and she’s got you in a scenario where you don’t want to be, and now you’ve got to battle yourself and you’ve got to battle Carla. And Carla is a two-time UFC world champion, which means she’s one of the best fighters on the planet.”
Barry pointed to past examples of Namajunas’ fights with Jessica Andrade as precedents for what can happen when “Thug Rose” loses focus. Namajunas was badly hurt in both bouts, including the brutal second-round slam knockout she suffered at UFC 237 that ended her first title reign. Namajunas had dominated the fight prior to Andrade’s vicious slam.
Barry said the team’s goal for UFC 274 was too ensure that same lapse in focus didn’t affect Namajunas against Esparza. They just never expected her to execute the plan too well.
“Every time the camera goes into Carla’s corner in between rounds, you can hear her coach Colin Oyama saying exactly what they were expecting: ‘Any minute now, she’s going to break. Any minute now, Rose is about to do that thing. And she when she does it, you know what to do.’ They were waiting,” Barry said. “She waited for Rose to do that thing that Rose does, and she was going to take advantage of it. They were waiting for that, and we knew that. We knew. This isn’t the moment where you flip out and start doing whatever it is that you want to do, because you might find yourself in a bad spot. You have to have control.
“Now, where I blew it is all of the training to have control, all of the training that I did, all of the training that we put together, to stay in control of your emotions, stay in control of yourself — we never once went over how to come out of that. Because at the end of Round 4, myself, when I got in the ring, and people are going to have comments always, when I got in the ring, I pretty much said, ‘Hey man, I think we’re up 4-0. You can feel free to kind of let go a little bit now and freestyle.’ … That was the whole training camp, is not to [freestyle]. The whole training camp was not to do that, expecting her to do it.
“So now we get into the ring, we get into the fight, it’s about to start Round 5 and we’re pretty much saying, ‘Hey, we’ve seen what we need to see. We know where you are and what you’re capable of. You can open up now.’ And it was almost as if you could see Rose go, ‘Ah, ah, no, no, no. No, you’re trying to trick me.’ We’re not. She was so prepared to stick to the game plan that she actually stuck to the game plan when we were telling her, ‘Alright, you can ditch it and go to something else now.’ She stuck to it. She stayed completely disciplined. She stayed completely disciplined the entire time, and so did Carla.”
Namajunas ultimately lost a split decision to Esparza in a bout that has been panned as one of the worst title fights in UFC history.
Much of the criticism in the days since has been directed not only at “Thug Rose,” but also at Barry — and to a lesser extent, fellow coach Trevor Wittman. Some critics have also posed the question of whether Namajunas would’ve been better served with Wittman more involved and Barry shifted to a background role, but Barry said Wednesday that neither he nor anyone else on the team is concerning themselves with listening to the outside noise.
“It’s fine,” Barry said. “I’m fine with [what] the world thinks of me, no matter what. Like, no matter what it’s my fault, right? ‘Pat, you shouldn’t be talking. You shouldn’t be nothing.’ I’m the closest person to her. I know what I’m looking at more than anyone else. I know what I’m looking at when I see — I know what I see when she’s in there, more than anybody. More than more than anybody, man. I’m 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Like, I know what it is that I’m looking at. I know what it is that I feel. I know pretty much where Rose is at any point in time, based on her facial expression. People are going to say that, but those are the same people that I have to ask, like, what if Rose would’ve jumped in the air and started doing spin kicks and gotten taken down and crucifixed and elbowed in the face. Now what?
“That’s why what the world says about Pat doesn’t matter to Pat. It doesn’t matter to Rose and that’s why it doesn’t matter to Pat. If it mattered to her, if it bothered her, what the world said, then that would probably be a thing. But it doesn’t.”
Namajunas lost a split decision to Esparza to fall to 0-2 against her in her professional career. She lost to Esparza for the then-vacant strawweight title on The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale .
This dude is a wack job. Just watched the interview. Fucking Helwani puts Rose’s name in the title and it’s a interview with this fucking weirdo. Nobody wants to hear this guy. He says the canvas was too slippery and Rose slipped the two times she was going to go for the kill. This guy needs a psychologist. Made it 25 minutes and turned it off. One time Rose got a black eye from being in a fight, we can’t have that happen he says. Fuck this guy.
“This whole Sean Strickland thing that is all over the place everywhere. Years ago, Rose did an interview and said ‘I joined Rufussport when I was 14 years ago, and then I left Rufussport for a few years. Then I came back to Rufussport, to pursue my MMA career, and that’s where I met my fiancee Pat Barry’. When the guy wrote the interview up, he wrote ‘Rose Namajunas joined Rufussport when she was 14 years old where she met her fiance Pat Barry, when she was 14 years old’.
Pat Barry continued, “That’s where everyone is getting this s*it from, a botched interview. That’s where everyone is getting all that from because someone decided to write it that way. It must’ve seemed credible and they just run with it. It’s those types of things everywhere that cause Rose to get into the fight with Carla, and be emotional.”
What do you think about Pat Barry’s comments about his relationship with Rose Namajunas?
Can you please start again, but use bullet points? Thank you
Pat will always surface, he exudes buoyancy
Jk, but thanks for bringing the news HKP
Yeah that was a long frat . Dont blame the messenger , i just read and paste. That was 3 different articles i looped in. Youre more than welcome .
If they don’t like reading they could listen and watch the video I posted
I’m gonna watch when I have time but I’m assuming the correct wording he wanted was “I joined Roufussport 14 years ago”
It was obvious Carla could not hold her down.
At that point Rose should have been aggressive. Carla has no power at all and doesnt fight well on her back foot.
This was a failure of fight iq and sticking to a game plan that was flawed from the start.
My lord. He just doubled down on his lunacy. Then referred to himself in the 3rd person multiple times. I used to really like Pat but he’s off his rocker.
Groomer and a nuttier than a shithouse rat
Man I’ve been a defender of Pats but that was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever watched. It’s crazy how much control and interest he has in Roses career…I think Trevor’s going to walk soon.
Guy must have taken drama class in high school…
You could tell Trevor was frustrated in their corner the other night. Pat has negotiated his little talk time with Trevor in between rounds. That started after the 1st Weili fight. It’s so cringe. I feel for Rose because she’s stuck with a classic narcissist.