Often times bloggers and journalist in the MMA media talk about a fighter that may be over looking his opponent. Reading interviews Pat Barry has done hyping up his fight with Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 115 it seems to me that he is overestimating Filipovic's abilities. Here is what Berry told Sherdog.com:
Sherdog.com: Is it your instinct still to check on an injured opponent?
Barry: I’ve done that a lot. This is also my weakness. I’m not a bloodthirsty animal. I’ve hit guys, and this is bad for me, but I’ve hit some guys with some real stiff shots and not followed it up. Like -- boom -- then kind of like look at them to see if they’re OK. Not OK, but if they’re dazed enough that the ref would stop the fight, versus some guy being unconscious, and, while he’s unconscious, me hit him six more times before the ref gets to him. That’s also bad because I’ve had guys in really bad situations where if I was to just bump into them a little, I’d finish the fight, and guys have gone from dazed to woken up. If you remember the Tim Hague fight [at UFC 98], when he stumbled back, he was out. He was like dazed. All I had to do was just touch him, but instead I backed up and looked at him.
To me this is worrisome. Does Pat Barry posses the killer instinct to finish off opponents? How is he going to react if and when he does catch Cro Cop with something? In this interview with MMAWeekly.com Barry talks about how Mirko hasn't lost any of his abilities:
"Cro Cop has not gotten worse. Cro Cop is not out of his prime. He has not lost anything in the amount of speed or aggression or anything. Everybody else had no choice but to get better. Cro Cop is the same Cro Cop he's always been, it's that everybody has had to up their game to be able to stand in the same world as this guy."
To me none of this is reassuring. Will Barry be starstruck in the Octagon? For all intensive purposes this is a match to expose Barry to the casual fan, just like the Hardonk fight. Is Barry making this fight out to be harder than it really is? Being tentative against the Croatian is not a good thing. It gives Cro Cop more time to set up that left head kick, something Mirko has failed to connect with in the Octagon. Barry better take a look at what Dos Santos did against Cro Cop and smother him on the inside. At all cost Barry can not stay on the outside with Filipovic. This is a major fight for both competitors. For Barry, if he wins it means he will become a bonafide contender at Heavyweight. For Mirko, if he losses this could possibly the last fight of his MMA career. How will both these fighters handle the pressure on Saturday night? And will it make an exciting fight?