Duke Roufus Expects Pat Barry to Show Off Newfound Wrestling Ability Against Joey Beltran
In just three short days striker extraordinaire Pat Barry is set to return to the Octagon against Joey Beltran at UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2. But Barry’s trainer Duke Roufus told US Combat Sports that Beltran may be in for a heavy dose of wrestling come Saturday night.
Following a successful kickboxing career, the Roufusport heavyweight has successfully made the jump into mixed martial arts since turning professional in 2008. Utilizing his lethal striking game, Barry has amassed a 5-2 record overall and split the difference in four bouts within the UFC.
But even with his impressive record Barry has shown throughout his MMA career to have an obvious disadvantage when the fight goes to the ground. But frighteningly for his opponents, the New Orleans native has spent time with former UFC champion Brock Lesnar and renowned wrestling coach John Messenbrink in order to improve his ground game.
“Pat is looking very strong,” Roufus told USCS. “His time at Brock Lesnar’s and his diligence to work on his wrestling and ground game have made Pat a completely different fighter. Coach Messenbrink has really been working on some subtleties to make his wrestling game more technical and more precise. He’s looking really good right now.”
While the loquacious heavyweight has made his love for striking widely known, Roufus said that Barry has shown a natural physical and mental ability to quickly pick up the wrestling game.
“He has improved so fast because he is such a talented athlete and such an intelligent person,” said Roufus. “He’s able to pick up on these things quick and he’s working very hard at becoming proficient in the wrestling aspect.”
On Saturday, Barry is set to face off against dangerous striker Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran. Of the Blackline/Alliance MMA fighter’s twelve career victories, ten have come via the knockout variety. But Roufus believes that Barry has the advantage no matter where the fight goes.
“I like the matchup very well for Pat, not because I think Joey Beltran is a weak opponent, but because I think because Beltran matches up perfect stylistically for Pat.”
While it remains to be seen how well Barry’s wrestling game truly has improved, one thing that remains certain is that Saturday’s bout has fight of the night potential. Both guys have shown the ability to strike with anyone, but it may be who controls the pace that ends up with the raised hand.
“Pat’s got to control the tempo of the fight and where it goes and how it goes,” said Roufus. “Joey Beltran is a very tough dude. I was there when he fought Tim Hague and he doesn’t mind getting hit at all and he’s just a very resilient fighter, and those guys are sometimes the most dangerous fighters because they just don’t give a you know what and they just love to fight.”