Dean Barry has his UFC debut booked and it's against an unexpected foe.
A month ago, decorated Irish kickboxer Barry signed with the UFC at just 3-1. It was considered a high-profile signing, and he is set to fight Mike Jackson on January 20. Several MMA sites reported the news. The fight will also take place at welterweight, despite Barry fighting at lightweight for the majority of his career.
Jackson, of course, is 1-1 as a pro but hasn't fought since he beat CM Punk at UFC 225. However, Dana White was not happy with his performance and said Jackson would never fight in the UFC again.
“Michael Jackson, I’m not happy with,” White said at the UFC 225 post-fight press conference in June 2018. “This guy was acting like a goofball tonight. You get this opportunity to fight CM Punk and you’re doing like bolo punches to the body on top? Never looked like he was trying to finish the fight ever, right? Looked like he could have finished the fight a few times. Never tried. I don’t know what that guy did for a living before we gave him this shot, but whatever it was he needs to go back and do that again. He’s 0-2 as far as I’m concerned. That’s it for [Jackson’s] UFC career,” White added. “I wouldn’t put that kid in the Contender Series.”
Dean Barry's rise to the UFC
Dean Barry trains at Straight Blast Gym Charlestown and works under Owen Roddy, who is Conor McGregor's striking coach. McGregor, of course, will fight just three days after Barry makes his UFC debut.
Barry made his pro debut in 2017 and beat Thomas Thatcher by TKO. He then suffered his first loss at the hands of Bellator veteran, Anthony Taylor, who submitted the Irish star. Barry bounced back by knocking out Corey Samuels before Abdulla Al Bousheire at UAE Warriors in September.
Mike Jackson, meanwhile, made his MMA debut against Mickey Gall in 2016 where Gall won by submission in 45 seconds. Jackson then fought Punk at 225 with Jackson dominating the fight and winning a clear-cut decision. The 35-year-old, like Barry, is a kickboxer as well.