While that story may not cause most folks to let out a collective "aww," it's perfectly fitting of their profession. Heck, it even works as a cute human interest story for Valentine's Day.
"I didn’t know who he was, but when I first saw him, I knew he was something special, definitely a surreal feeling," Namajunas said of Barry. "Regardless, we didn’t speak to each other. I made an effort to keep to myself and not speak to anyone in that gym. But eventually he chipped away at this cold ice heart. One day we sparred, I punched him in the face, and I think that's when he fell in love!"
That may not be a typical first date, but it makes sense when you consider that Namajunas and Barry are two of the fastest-rising mixed martial artists in the world today.
Namajunas, a 20-year-old strawweight, is coming off a win over Emily Kagan at Invicta FC 4. Barry is on a win streak of his own, as he knocked out Shane del Rosario at The Ultimate Fighter 16 finale.
"I train with him mostly when he isn’t in training camp," Namajunas said of Barry. "We push each other. It’s like a chess game. He always has to stay one step ahead of me, but I catch on quick so he has to stay on his toes! I really like his fighting style. His striking is like Mike Tyson and his kicks come from all angles. His kicks are scary powerful. His Jiu-Jitsu is unorthodox, but highly underrated. I have watched his striking and have tried to mimic the way he moves."
Namajunas is expected to be featured on the Invicta FC 5 card, but her opponent has not yet been officially announced. As for Barry, no word yet on who or when he fights next in the UFC octagon.