UFC veteran Matt Mitrione defends Pat Barry, claims he’s not a predator and accidentally confirms timeline

Pat Barry has been a very hot topic in the lead up to UFC 274. It all started when UFC Middleweight Sean Strickland called him out for something that’s been an open secret in MMA for ages.

According to a number of reports, including Pat Barry and Rose Namajunas themselves the couple had met in an MMA gym when Namajunas was underage – and had gone on to date and get engaged with 13 years of age difference between them.

Now Barry disputes he met Namajunas when he was 14 – which is when she says she joined Duke Roufus’ gym. This was revealed in his mildly unhinged interview with Ariel Helwani couple days back.

Their teammate at the time, Matt Mitrione went on the Calabasas Fight companion (Brendan Schaub‘s attempt to remake Joe Rogan’s popular MMA watch party) and shared the following.

“Hey, by the way, now we’re talking about Rose. I got to talk to you about Sean Strickland. I’m really salty, Sean, I don’t know who you are.”

“And to be honest with you, I don’t even think I’ve ever watched you fight. But I’m gonna be really honest with you. You’re talking about some s**t. You don’t know what you’re talking about with this whole thing about Pat Barry and Rose, and you call and trying to call Pat a predator and blah, blah, blah.”

“I was there. I was at Duke Roufus’ gym when Rose was 17 years old. I was there on her 18th birthday. I was there for the conversation that Rose had with me as like, hey, how do you think Pat feels about this situation?”

“I’m turning 18 tomorrow and I want to ask him to date. I love who he is. I love his energy. I love how excited he is. I think he’s a great human being and Rose knew from the jump, from the jump that Pat was going to be somebody else in her life forever and ever.”

“So for you to run your mouth talking about whatever the kind of bulls**t you’re talking about calling my good buddy Pat a predator when you don’t know what the f**k you’re talking about. That really kind of bothers me a little bit.”

“So listen, man, I understand you’re trying to get some attention trying to get some some burn trying to get a little bit of attention in whatever you got to get. But talk about proper things we know what he’s talking about. You don’t want to talk about this you just call this a square son. leave this one alone. He barking up the wrong tree”

Of course, while Mitrione meant to help Barry this retelling of the lore does nothing but affirm the widely accepted timeline. As Rose Namajunas told Joe Rogan during a joint appearance with Pat:

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


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The really surprising part is hard to miss – the two appear to have met when Namajunas was just 14 years old. But it’s unclear if the two were close right off the bat because Namajunas later said that a pivotal moment in her MMA career was the fight between Cris Cyborg and Gina Carano. That fight took place in August of 2009 when Rose was about a month into 17 years old. Here’s how she described that moment:

 Joe: Now when you two started hanging out and Pat had already been an accomplished kick boxer, was an mma fighter and did that sort of embolden you to the idea?

Rose: Oh so the fighting? Like professionally? Yeah! And that’s when I saw Gina Carano and Cyborg fighting at the that big fight that they had. And then that’s kinda what inspired me to – oh I can take this to the next level.

A simple google search can tell you two things – first that in Milwaukee, WI where Duke’s gym is – and where the two met, age of consent is 18 and the other thing is that Pat was 30 and Rose was 17.