Nowadays in MMA, you usually see the same old stuff when it comes to pre-fight hype. Fighter A describes how he's better than his opponent in every facet of the game, and he's going to knock him out or make him tap out. Fighter B responds with something equally as inane and repetitive. While there are many obvious exceptions, and genuine dislike between two fighters usually does lead to some good hype, what do two guys do when they actually like each other? Well, in the case of Pat Barry and Stefan Struve, who will meet at UFC on Versus 6 tonight, they decided to go in a different direction. They tried to be funny to get people into their bout. And you know what? It actually worked.
To be fair, they had a lot to work with. Struve is 13 inches taller than Barry, and both are known as funny, wacky dudes anyway. It all started with this picture, which is pretty funny in itself. It then led to some humorous twitter trash talk, which included one-liners like this and this, and pictures like this and this. Then there was the Youtube videos. First it was Pat Barry's "brother" sending Struve a message. Struve responded by showing off an unusual training method, and Barry came back with his own training video. Barry then took the hilarity up a notch with this strange but funny video.
They finished things up yesterday at the official weigh-ins (video taken by MMA Nation's Luke Thomas), where Barry wanted to stand on the scale for the face-off. He eventually got down and they hammed it up a bit more. It was definitely the highlight of the weigh-ins.
Everyone's sense of humor is different and I'm sure there are a lot of people that didn't find much of this funny at all. I don't really think that's the point though. I'm impressed with two guys that tried something different to get people interested in them and their matchup. They played off each other well, it didn't come across as forced, they never took it seriously, and it won't take anything away from their will to win when they climb into the octagon. Personally, I'd like to see more of this kind of stuff in the future.