Pat Barry has been preparing for the 6-foot-11 Stefan Struve by kicking trees and finding people on stilts.
Barry meets Struve at UFC on Versus 6, scheduled for October 1. The bout will be part of the main card to be televised by the Versus Network.
Barry believes that Struve will be trying to engage in a kickboxing match with him, as the man from The Netherlands’ base is kickboxing.
“There’s just no way he can lose a kickboxing match to an American,” Barry said. “This just impossible. If he loses a kickboxing match to an American, he can’t go home. I know that because I lived in Amsterdam for five years and I know how they are over there. He’s going to come in and he’s going to throw punches and kicks at me because he has to win that way.”
Along with dealing with a fighter that stands a foot taller than him, Barry (6-3) is also coming off a tough loss to Cheick Kongo. Barry was winning the fight, having knocked Kongo down a couple of times in the first round before Kongo delivered a knockout blow.
Barry has alternated wins and losses since entering the UFC in 2008.
“It sucked when I woke up and thought I won and found out that I lost, but by the time I walked out of the Octagon, I was fine with it,” said Barry, of the Kongo defeat. “I didn’t do anything wrong. That was a time-running-low-on-the-clock, Hail Mary pass. Someone caught it and won the Super Bowl. That’s all that is. That wasn’t a planned punch. He threw it, it landed. I didn’t do anything wrong.
“My game plan was right. I came in to hit him a lot. Hit him until we got to the parking lot. But unfortunately, I got stung.”
Struve (21-5) is coming off a knockout loss to Travis Browne in May that ended a two-fight win streak for him. His only other UFC defeats are at the hands of Roy Nelson and Junior dos Santos.
“I think it’s great,” Barry said. “It’s a Dutch kickboxer vs. an American kickboxer. He has a really, really good ground game, and he happens to be the tallest guy on earth. It’s a challenge. He’s a striker who’s great on the ground. I’m a striker who’s getting better on the ground, but I’m also 3-foot-9, so we’ll see how this goes.”
The main event of UFC Live on Versus 6 is a bantamweight championship match between Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson.