(“All day! All night! You feel! My heat! Feel, feel, feel, feel my heat!”)
Big news for people who care what weight class Phil Baroni fights at: MMA Weekly reports that in light of his three consecutive losses — to Frank Shamrock, Kala Kolohe Hose, and Joey Villasenor — the New York Badass is dropping from middleweight to welterweight, and will make his 170-pound debut on July 12th at Cage Rage 27, against a British fighter to be named later. Baroni explained his decision in a post on Sherdog.net:
Im making the move because I want to be a World Champion. I dont fight for pay day’s or fame, to be on tv or chick’s. I got into MMA because I wanted to be the best fighter in the world.
This is what I feel at this point in my career I need to do. Im feel Im a better fighter than Ive shown in the ring esp as of late.
As far as the move to Welter Weight goes I feel great. Im more athletic. Im in much better condition, my hand speed is back, an I would go as far as to say Im alot quicker than I was at my previous best.
Im not going to make any predictions or promises. Ive been very humbled as of late. Ive been handed a real wake up call.
Im going to give it my all 100% and do my best. Its Do or Die for me. Im All In! I love to fight. Im a real fighter, an like I said the day I dont think I can be a World Champion is the day Ill retire.
Im not done yet, I have alot of fight left inside me. I have alot to prove to myself an alot of people to prove wrong.
NEVER SAY DIE !!!
Later, on the UG, Baroni added:
The cut will not be a hard one. Its alot harder eating six huge protien meals a day, trying to bulk up so that when I cut Im a legit 185. Atleast by how much muscle I carry, an how much I weigh an have to cut from. At one seventy, Ill only eat less, an do more roadwork. Its just a slight tweak. Im walking around right now 185…I just want to show everyone what I got. My best. An in doing that my body has responded by changing to a welterweight…Im not making the move fo easy fights. Im making the move to become a better fighter. My goals are the same as before. Just a little humbler in my approach.
I’ve long been a fan of Baroni’s showmanship, so I wish him all the best. But let’s face reality — size was never Phil’s problem. What’s kept him from being a successful fighter as of late is his woeful lack of conditioning and his “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” approach to ground-fighting. Shedding 15 pounds of muscle won’t address either issue, but at least it creates a little bit of interest in Baroni’s next match. Still, if the NYBA can’t beat the 170-pound crumpet that Cage Rage throws at him, it’s probably time to leave the game for good.