Pat Barry will be taking an indefinite leave from competing in MMA and has been released from his UFC contract

UFC heavyweight Pat Barry has decided to take an indefinite leave from mixed martial arts and he has been released from his contract with UFC and Zuffa.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Barry’s decision to walk away from mixed martial arts was announced by his manager, Brian Butler of Sucker Punch Entertainment.

“Pat and I have talked about this for a while now and with recent changes in the landscape of combat sports, he wants to explore some options and try to get back to his roots,” said Butler. “He’s going to take a little time to clear his head and then we will explore our options. We will keep you posted on things as they develop.”

Barry (8-7) opened his career with three straight victories before signing with the UFC in 2008. He won two of his first three fights in the UFC, including a fight of the night and knockout of the night victory over Antoni Hardonk at UFC 104.

Since his win over Hardonk, he has lost six of his last nine fight and has lost back to back fights by knockout in the the first round. His most recent defeat came at UFC Fight Night 33 in Australia against Soa Palelei.

Barry did release a statement on his decision to leave the sport of mixed martial arts in the announcement made by his management group. Barry is not ruling out a potential return to mixed martial arts, but he does not want to wrestle.

“Over the past few fights I’ve just had this sinking feeling in my stomach whenever I have stepped into the Octagon and I realize, I DONT WANT TO WRESTLE,” Barry said. “Not saying I will never do MMA again, but right now I just want to hit people. MMA and the UFC have been great to me and I will always support the company and the sport. I want to thank all my fans, sponsors and haters for being with me on this journey and I look forward to what future holds.”