Stefan Struve and Pat Barry Show the Beauty of Pre-Fight YouTube Banter

October 1, 2011

The standard pre-fight hype is tired… and not the exhausted, lactic acidosis kind. In other words, it’s “played out,” old, and out of date. Basically, if it’s not Chael Sonnen doing the pre-fight talk, it’s not raking in huge numbers.

While others have done the standard pre-fight talk approach, UFC on Versus 6 fighters Stefan Struve and Pat Barry have taken a different path leading up to their co-main event in Washington, D.C. and other video sites have been their podiums and megaphones.

In a comical attempt to draw fight fans to their bout, the heavyweights posted videos poking fun at each other and it worked. Perhaps the combination of having a mutual sense of humor and respect for each other allows them to playfully entertain the mixed martial arts community with their antics.

Videos like the one of Struve mocking Barry’s height by kicking an action figure then saying it’s training footage are a refreshing change to the standard “I’m excited and focused” press conference quotes. And Barry jumping off a trampoline to clothesline a dummy perched 15 feet in the air gives a humorous depiction of what fans can expect from the obvious height differential in the pending match-up.

For Struve, it’s odd that he can joke around with an opponent prior to a fight with them, but he embraces the interaction.

“I always have the same kind of jokes with my trainers, but It’s the first time an opponent is doing the same weird (expletive) as me,” Struve told

“People are following it and people are loving it, so it’s good.”

Barry, who’s known for having a goofy sense humor that many find appealing, says he’s enjoyed interacting with Struve prior to the signing the fight for UFC on Versus 6.

If they were so cool with each other then, why should that change just because they’re going to punch and kick each other, right? To the one that doesn’t fight and compete on a regular basis, that might seem strange, but it’s part of the job for guys like “Skyscraper” and “H.D.” In fact, regardless of what happens on Saturday night, Barry might just go hang out with his young opponent in Holland.

“The thing is, I like Stefan Struve as a person,” Barry told MMAWeekly Radio Weekend Edition. “We’re really cool. We laugh and joke every time we’re around each other. Next time I go to Amsterdam, I’m going to go hang out with him!”

But don’t let the fact that these two are friendly get in the way of the idea that business will be handled in the Octagon on Versus. It’s still a fight and nothing else should be expected on fight night. Both are known strikers and will likely trade blows until one of them gets knocked out cold.

It’s all fun and games until the two square off for 15 minutes, at most.

“I’m going to try to kick his head off or, when I get the chance, I’ll break his arm or  choke him out,” Struve said. “But for the rest, I’ve got no problem with him. So why not have a little fun leading up to the fight.”

So in their own funny way, these two heavyweights will prepare for their fight and have a good time doing so. Struve openly admits that he’s gearing up for someone he sees as being “just a bit taller than a Smurf,” while Barry prepares for his opponent’s expected (and unexpected) reach advantage. The 5-foot-11 Barry and the 6-foot-11 Struve will surely provide entertainment on Saturday night, much like they’ve done leading up to their fight.

On that note, anyone have a set of stilts?

Follow @Erik_Fontanez on Twitter or e-mail Erik Fontanez.
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