Welcome to the UFC: Dean Barry

Dean Barry and Mike Jackson, UFC Vegas 52
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 22: (L-R) Opponents Dean Barry of Ireland and Mike Jackson face off during the UFC weigh-in at UFC APEX on April 22, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

The UFC was back at the Apex Saturday, with UFC Vegas 52 headlined by a pivotal strawweight fight between Amanda Lemos and former champ Jessica Andrade. Also on the card, at long last, was Dean Barry. The welterweight had been trying to make his UFC debut since January of 2021. Two times he was scheduled to fight Mike Jackson but both had pulled out. Now for the third time, they were scheduled to fight and this time it appeared to actually be happening.

Dean “The Sniper” Barry
Standing at 5’10″
Fighting at 170 lbs (welterweight)
Fighting out of Dublin, Ireland
Training out of SBG
A pro record of 4-1

How will Barry do in the UFC:

Barry is a five-time world kickboxing champion and a European champion. He doesn’t have a lot of MMA experience but does have combat experience. But despite that, Barry shouldn’t be in the UFC. Nobody with just five pro fights should be fighting in the UFC. He has a 100% finish rate but it’s not like he’s getting highlight-reel finishes. He’s winning with subpar finishes over awful competition. He’s fighting guys that seem like they came off the couch, even in the fight he lost.

It would be way too premature to have Barry on the Contender Series so to have him in the UFC now is a bad idea. Watching Barry, even if you don’t know anything about him, you can tell he came from a kickboxing/karate background. You would never think he’s a world kickboxing champion. At least in MMA, he throws a lot of naked kicks; you can see what he’s going to throw before he throws it, and he gets a bit repetitive. He holds his hands down really low and it’s a matter of time before he gets caught. His takedown defense is very poor and off his back, he’s lost. Barry easily lets his guard get passed and will give up his back or the mount easily.

Barry wants to be on the feet and with the glaring holes he has, he’s still dangerous. Barry has good movement, is a competent counter striker, and has some power. He’s just not a UFC-level fighter and fighting once a year since his debut in 2017 has stalled any progression he would’ve had. Such a weird signing, and I don’t see it lasting too long at all.

How he matches up with Jackson:

The goal here from the UFC is to quite clearly to get Dean Barry a win. Not only did they give him the worst fighter on the roster, they gave him someone better known as a media guy, rather than as an actual fighter. Barry has all the pressure on him as he’s a trained fighter being in combat sports for a long time. Jackson is a part-timer who couldn’t finish CM Punk (which was his most recent fight), so there is no reason for this fight to even be competitive. That’s actually another problem here: if Barry doesn’t finish this fight in the first few minutes it’s a terrible look.