Pat Barry doesn’t expect his May 5 meeting with Lavar Johnson to go three rounds.
In fact, if it does, then something went wrong.
“Lavar Johnson is not a distance fighter,” Barry told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “He doesn’t go the distance. He doesn’t want to be in there for 15 minutes. I personally want to throw one punch and end the fight and then go home and eat something. I don’t want to go the distance. I count fights that go the distance as a personal loss on my part, which is my style of fighting and how I’ve always been my entire career. I’ve always felt like if the fight goes the distance, then I didn’t do something right.”
The heavyweight matchup is scheduled for the main card at UFC on Fox 3. Johnson made his Octagon debut at UFC on Fox 2 in January, knocking out Joey Beltran. Barry was impressed.
“Joey Beltran had never been knocked out,” said Barry, “never been knocked down, and this guy was able to do it in what? Two minutes? In his UFC debut?”
Johnson is a big, hard-punching opponent. Barry, however, packs plenty of power himself and has fought some of the scariest strikers in both MMA and kickboxing.
“Lavar Johnson has run through the guys he fought in a very aggressive manner,” Barry said. “He’s really aggressive. He has a really intimidating appearance and his aura about him. He’s a pretty confident guy. Do I think anyone has necessarily stood there toe-to-toe with him? No. Am I going to be the first one to do it? I’m not saying that. Probably not. Lavar Johnson kills everybody within two or three minutes of round one, so there’s a chance … if I have to, I’ll run from him for three minutes to take him to minute four, where he’s never been and then employ my game there. But it all depends on what he allows me to do.”
While Barry may not get in a firefight with Johnson, that doesn’t mean he’s going to come in shooting takedowns. His strength is on the feet, and he’ll try to win the fight there.
“Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think that a fight is where you want to experiment with new things,” Barry said with a laugh. “That’s just me. Four out of his five losses have come from submissions, but I don’t know if I want to necessarily practice my submission game when the bell rings with a guy who has fists the size of my head. Like I said, if it’s there, I’ll go for it, but I’m not getting in there looking for that in particular. I see holes in his game everywhere, just like I’m sure he sees holes in my game. He sees things in my game that he can capitalize on. Come fight time, we’ll see what happens.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:06:40).