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Cheick Kongo and Pat Barry Looking to Make a Statement, Against Each Other

| June 24, 2011 | Reply

UFC Live: Marquardt vs. Story is full of interesting and entertaining matchups.  Perhaps, however, none will be more exciting than Cheick Kongo vs. Pat “HD” Barry.  UFC Matchmaker Joe Silva had the fans in mind when he decided to put two of the UFC heavyweight division’s premier pure strikers in the cage against one another.   Every fight fan loves to see two big guys battling it out on the feet, but this fight more than that.  It is an opportunity for one these men to take a step out of the mid-tier and secure himself a chance to fight the upper echelon of the division.

Coming off a disappointing and foul-filled draw with rising prospect Travis Browne, Cheick Kongo is looking to prove that he can be a real contender.  Kongo currently holds a UFC record of 8 wins, 4 losses, and 1 draw, with his most notable victory being a unanimous decision win over Mirko CroCop back in September 2007.  Since that win, he has remained largely a gatekeeper to the UFC elite, losing fights to the likes of former champ Frank Mir and current champ Cain Velasquez, while defeating fighters with less recognizable names such as Dan Evenson and Mustapha Al-Turk, and aging veteran Paul Buentello.

cheick kongo 200x300 Cheick Kongo and Pat Barry Looking to Make a Statement, Against Each Other

Kongo is 8-4-1 in the UFC

Kongo has professed improved wrestling and overall grappling chops and this may be a key for him in this fight.  If that truly is the case, he may want to utilize them as Barry is far from being known as ground technician.  Any way you slice it, he needs to up his game in impressive fashion in order prove he isn’t just another face in the crowd in the ever-deepening UFC heavyweight division.

With a lot less time in the octagon than Kongo, Pat Barry also finds himself greatly seeking to break away from gatekeeper status.  “HD” is only five fights into his UFC career, but has already had his fair share of ups and downs.  Alternating wins and losses to his current 3-2 UFC record, consistency seems to be something Barry has yet to find.  All of his wins have been impressive showings, and his thundering leg kicks have become a major talking point amongst fans and media.  In spite of this, his losses have been equally depressing.

After destroying Dan Evensen’s thighs, he gets guillotined by journeyman Tim Hague.  He follows that with an exciting TKO victory over Antoni Hardonk, then gets choked out by CroCop after failing to finish him when he hurt the Croatian earlier in the fight.  In his last outing, he throttled Joey Beltran with his trademark leg kicks all the way to a unanimous decision victory.  If one thing has been apparent, even in some of his wins, it’s that Barry lacks a killer instinct when his opponent is treading water.  (Trust me; I’m not the first one to say this).  Against Kongo, Barry is going to need some killer instinct if he wants to prove his worth to Dana White and company.

With a possible future merger of the UFC and Strikeforce heavyweight divisions, now is the time to shine for not just these two warriors, but for every fighter looking to remain relevant.  It’s better to get your name out there as an elite fighter now, while the opportunity is ripe, than to wait until you find yourself in a place where every name is big and you’re just another fish in the sea.  Sunday, look for Pat Barry or Cheick Kongo to make a statement that he is not to be forgotten when discussing the best fighters in the game today.


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Tags: Cheick Kongo, Heavyweight, Leg Kicks, MMA, Pat Barry, UFC, UFC Live: Marqaurdt vs Story

Category: MMA

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