Former UFC fighter Pat Barry can be seen by the side of his longtime girlfriend Rose Namajunas each time she steps into the Octagon.
Barry has battled an addiction to pills and alcohol, something that took a turn for the worse when he was arrested in July of 2016.
“That was the moment, I realized, I can’t get out of this cell if they don’t let me out, I can’t get out,” Barry said on The MMA Hour. “Me, ‘Gorilla Pat,’ I can’t physically break out. I can’t talk my way out. The one person I called hung the phone up, and didn’t answer, Rose. [She was] disappointed. I figured out this doesn’t need to go any further. I realized, s--t needs to change and s--t needs to change now.”
Namajunas has continued fighting for the UFC while her boyfriend battled his problems and she is now facing UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the gold at UFC 217.
However, the road to the title wasn’t a smooth one for Namajunas and Barry claims that it was his issues that caused the rough road.
“Go back to any of Rose’s performances that didn't seem quite right. It was me,” he said. “I was the outside distraction. This guy. Any performance. I’m not talking about just fighting. Any interview that seemed off and weird, any post on social media, it was my f—king fault. So I said, I’m not doing that no more. She should’ve been world champ two years ago. It was me. I didn't know it was me, but it was me.”
The former UFC fighter has been clean and sober for over a year now, plus his relationship with Namajunas has never been better.
“I just love this guy,” Namajunas also said on The MMA Hour. “We’ve been bouncing around a lot, I never had a place to call home. I have a home now, not just an actual house, but my coaches and this guy. If I can’t do it with them, I don't want to do it. It’s more about the journey and the experiences with each other, and that makes it the best roller coaster ever.”
UFC 217 takes place on Saturday, November 4 from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York with Michael Bisping and Georges St. Pierre headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.