Last night Ariel Helwani delivered one of the must see interviews for every fan of mixed martial arts. In the interview Helwani found a way to address some of the most burning questions people have had surrounding Pat Barry and Rose Namajunas and her inexplicable failings during the recent Strawweight title bout at UFC 274.
The 42 year old former UFC athlete and kickboxer Pat Barry, who is both Rose Namajunas’ coach and partner, was invited to address criticism on the MMA Hour. There Barry left a lasting impression on the mma community and basically raised a number of red flags regarding the future and well being of former UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas.
Here’s how Barry explained their gameplan:
“We had a strategy, and she stuck to it for the first time ever. So the first time ever, she stuck to a game plan and didn’t stray away. She didn’t become undisciplined she stuck to it. Just so happens that Carla’s stuck to her game plan to and neither one of them broke. That’s all we were waiting for.”
He also clarified that he had told Namajunas that she was 4 rounds up going into the 5th round. Namajunas initially said Wittman was the one that told her she was 4 rounds up.
“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.
This sentence above showcases something that several prominent MMA figures have pointed out. Namajunas was getting cornered by a spouse – not an MMA coach. Xtreme couture coach Eric Nicksick criticized Barry for his approach to the bout. As did UFC referee legend, Big John Mccarthy.
Pat Barry’s insistence on “heavy consequences” for making mistakes is particularly baffling because Esparza is a wrestler first and foremost, so the ‘danger’ to Namajunas was actually marginally smaller in this duel than in any other clash.
Barry clarified he was happy with the game plan and went so far as to call it ‘perfect’ and said that the only pitfall was that Namajunas failed to abandon the plan when urged by her corner.
“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.”
Barry thought the plan was perfect – and that the failure is on Rose because ahead of Round 5 both him and Wittman urged Rose to take more initiative.
“She stuck to the game plan. She stuck to the game plan so much that when we were asking her to come out of the game plan, she looked like haha, all the trying to get me stick to the game plan”
This is what Pat said yesterday anyway, in our transcript of their corner work we cite that Wittman was encouraging prior to round 5 and basically gave Rose the pep talk that somewhat worked. As evidenced by the scorecard, Namajunas won round 5 on all 3 scorecards.
Barry also clarified that he
Pat: “She lost because she strayed away from the game plan.” Also Pat: “we were telling her to adjust but she knew she had to stick to the game plan and that’s why she lost.”
Barry also went on to blame her family for pressuring Namajunas to retire. Prior to the bout she had suffered some bruising in camp which prompted her grandmother to question Namajunas’ motivation to stay in MMA.
“Also, after the fight is Mother’s Day, you have a phone call with your grandmother, who’s your favorite person in the world. ”
“The last time you have a zoom call, whether it’s six weeks ago, you have to show up and give this crazy explanation when she’s looking at you going, ‘why are you still doing this?’
“‘Like, what are you still doing this for?’ And you have to you have to go and you have to talk to her with this big face. And you’re just human is that is that that type of thing?”