Pat Barry delivered an interview for the ages last night on The MMA Hour. Former UFC athlete painted a troubling picture of his relationship with Rose Namajunas inadvertently.
Barry (42) has been dating 29 year old Namajunas for a number of years. But the troubling thing is that Barry is reported to have met Namajunas 15 years ago, when she was just 14 – and he was 27.
After we wrote a lengthy piece on their relationship, and UFC Middleweight Sean Strickland started calling out Barry online for his predatory behavior, Helwani felt he should give Barry a chance to answer abuse allegations.
Barry tried to justify Strickland’s call out by blaming a media for misrepresenting what he and Rose said in an interview.
“It’s the same scenario with this whole Sean Strickland thing that’s all over the place everywhere. So here’s the deal. Really. years ago, Rose did an interview and in the interview, she said, I joined Roufusport when I was 14 years old, and then I left Roufusport for a few years, and then I came back to Roufusport to pursue my MMA career. And this is where I met my fiancée, Pat Barry”
“(Rose) did the entire interview. And when the guy wrote the interview up, he wrote Rose Namajunas joined Roufusport when she was 14 years old, where she met her fiancé Pat Barry when she was 14 years old. That’s where everybody’s getting all this s**t from a botched interview.”
Helwani went on to prompt Barry to clear the air since he disputed the widely publicized Bleacher Report article by saying “Do you want to address the history of your relationship once and for all do?”
To which Barry replied:
“No, bro. We don’t. We don’t sweat that, we haven’t sweat that for years. Like I said this is no matter what happens even if I tell you exactly how it went down. That’s gonna get brought up.”
“We don’t. That’s not we’ve we’ve had we’ve passed we’ve passed that years ago. He used to be a moment. He used to be a moment, like, Where’s all this s** coming from? Where’s all this hate come from? ”
“And then we found we found out, just like the dead versus red that got spun way out of control. We found we found the article. ”
“Don’t have to get in touch with anybody. We know that everyone out there is going off of something that’s not right. And there’s no point trying to go and correct everyone and try to get the word out.”
“Rather, it’s pointless. It’s pointless. It’s pointless, man. It’s pointless. The people who know us know, like her mom, her family, my mom, my family, her grandmothers…”
“…like the people who know us know. The people who don’t are going off of… The people who know Rose’s actual history.”
“Like the people who know Rose’s actual history about being groomed since she was six years old. And she knows exactly what that’s like, you know, and people know, people know that just reading something and then just run with it. Just talk about. So no, that’s nothing that we ever intend on addressing”
Barry went on to say that him and Strickland are even sort of friends, to make the whole thing even more odd.
“Everybody gets some hate. No, it’s not, that’s not a, that’s not Sean Strickland and I are actually kind of a cool, we’re actually kind of friends. Really, actually. We’ve had every time we see him, we laugh and joke with this dude all the time.”
So let’s take a step back for a second – because Barry sure glossed over many things.
In 2014, Rose and Pat gave an interview to Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter. The article went on to share Pat’s anecdote about the first time they met – which Rose doesn’t remember. There he claimed it was love at first sight.
Which wouldn’t be alarming if it weren’t for the following exchange:
“I say we’ve been dating for more than five years, but she says two or three years,” Barry says.
“We were apparently together a lot longer than I was aware of,” Namajunas says with a laugh. “It took him a while to chip away at my cold heart, but he did.”
At the time the article was posted – Namajunas was 22. This effectively means Barry went on to personally claim he’s been with Namajunas since she was 17 – and the whole comment about chipping away does nothing to reassure the reader about the power dynamics in their relationship. After all he was an 29 year old dating a reluctant 17 year old.
In Wisconsin, the age of consent is 18 years old.
In addition to that, the couple went on the Joe Rogan Experience together some years back and shared the following.
Rose: Yeah I did one season of wrestling as a senior and then I did kickboxing and I met Pat at Duke Roufus’ gym in Milwaukee and that’s kinda where I saw guys like him all those dudes doing it as professions and I was like maybe I can do it as a profession too, you know.
Joe: And how old were you at the time?
Rose: I first walked into Duke’s gym I was like – I think I was 14, and then I left ’cause of ’cause I had other obligations and like stopped training for a while but I was still doing other sports and stuff. And I came back when I was like 17.
Joe: So you were really thinking at the time, maybe this was something I could do as a career?
Rose: You know, not for sure but definitely like I saw – I was always gonna be involved in martial arts no matter what as a hobby… no matter what.
There the timeline is confirmed again
Further, Barry went on to claim that Rose having been abused while younger somehow absolves him of wrong doing.
This is actually contrary to scientific research. Kids who experience SA in childhood actually have a higher risk of getting into relationships where they’re abused. And if you watch the rest of the interview with Barry you can see many signs of problematic and controlling behavior.
One thing’s for sure – it’s good that he was asked to address the elephant in the room, sort of speak.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.