Pat Barry has announced his retirement through a statement made by his management team, SuckerPunch Entertainment.

Barry, 34 years old, suffered his second straight knockout loss in December to Soa Palelei. He is 8-7 in his career, with seven knockout victories and four KO losses.

“Over the past few fights I’ve just had this sinking feeling in my stomach whenever I have stepped into the Octagon and I realize, I DON’T WANT TO WRESTLE,” Barry stated. “Not saying I will never do MMA again, but right now I just want to hit people. MMA and the UFC have been great to me and I will always support the company and the sport.

“I want to thank all of my fans, sponsors and haters for being with me on this journey and I look forward to what future holds.”

Barry was released from his contract with the UFC and is now allowed to move to another combat sport.

“Pat and I have talked about this for a while now and with recent changes in the landscape of combat sports, he wants to explore some options and try to get back to his roots,” Brian Butler, head of Sucker Punch Entertainment, said. “He’s going to take a little time to clear his head and then we will explore our options. We will keep you posted on things as they develop.”

Butler added that “(Barry) is done with MMA for now but he is not done. Stay tuned.”

From 2002-07, Barry went 18-6-1 with nine knockout victories as a pro kickboxer. He captured titles at the 2005 Kings of Kickboxing Tournament, U.S. Open Sanshou Championship and was a silver medalist at the 2003 World Wushu Championships.