This time last year, Dean Barry was preparing for a golden opportunity, his UFC debut. Unfortunately, due to an eye poke, he ended up on the wrong end of a disqualification in this bout against Mike Jackson. Subsequently, Barry was cut from the UFC, but a path for a return was left open.

‘The Sniper’ is set to make a return to MMA in 2023, now back in the regional scene. In just under a year after the UFC debut, Barry will be fighting in Cage Warriors to hopefully make his way back to the premier MMA promotion in the world. For his first action back in MMA, Dean Barry takes on fellow Irishman Adam Shelley at Cage Warriors 153 in Dublin, Ireland.

Recently Dean Barry took the time to speak with Alex Lerman of LowKick MMA to discuss his mentality following the UFC release and offer some foresight into how his return to MMA vs. Adam Shelley will play out.

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Dean Barry Talks Mental Health Following UFC Release

Dean Barry was open and honest when speaking about his mentality post-release, mincing no words, he explained:

“It was kind of like a blessing because I got in at a really wrong time in my life, mentally I was at a really bad place the last two years. After that fight, I kind of spiraled down, just the abuse online and stuff like that… I was questioning whether I wanted to fight anymore, if I was done.”

Barry explained how things have turned around for him:

“I’ve been on anti-depressants now since October… and it’s changed my life to help me drastically. I’m in a really good place at the minute, the best place I’ve ever been in mentally, so I think that’s really going to help me now.”

Dean Barry Looking for a Knockout vs. Adam Shelley

Barry’s upcoming opponent in Cage Warriors, Adam Shelley, is an opponent who will be a very familiar face. Dean explained how the two used to train together in their younger days:

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“It could probably be like 14 or 15 I’ve known him since. We would travel through the Irish Kickboxing team together; I did point fighting and Adam did continuous fight… My gym would go over to his gym and we would do sparring, his team would come over to us and we’d do squad training… I’ve always had nothing but pleasant with Adam…”

Despite the amicable history between the two, Barry will go into this fight as if it were any fighter standing across from him in the cage. On how the fight will play out, Barry continued:

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“I think it’s going to be a very good fight, it’s going to be a very calculated and technical fight with the two of us trying to set traps and play games with each other. We came from the same world, so it’s going to be a chess match nearly… I’m going to be calm, patient, and calculated, and I think I can knock him out.”

Dean Barry vs. Adam Shelley goes down on April 29th at the 3Arena in Dublin. Headlined by a title unification fight between Rhys McKee and Jim Wallhead, Cage Warriors 153 should be must-see MMA action.

Watch below for the full interview with Dean Barry: