(Forget money and fame – Phil was fighting back when the prize was a weird trophy and a semi-attractive Japanese chick. / Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)
When we learned that the match between UFC veteran Phil Baroni and 23-year-old prospect Brad Tavares would indeed be aired before the UFC 125 pay-per-view broadcast this Saturday, it reminded me of our last chat with the New York Bad Ass on episode 11.1 of the Bum Rush Radio Show. Baroni has reached that point in his career where youngsters are trying to make their names off of him, and he has to beat them if he wants his own name to retain its value. I asked Phil if he felt like the last in a bygone generation of fighters, considering that so many of his rivals are no longer competing. And I thought his response was worth sharing again…
CAGEPOTATO.COM: I was thinking earlier today about some of the big rivalries and battles you’ve had in your career: Frank Shamrock is now retired. Matt Lindland is a knockout victim these days. Evan Tanner‘s no longer with us. It’s like you’re the last man standing. Ten years in this sport is a lifetime. When you get in the cage, do you feel like you’re representing a different generation?
PHIL BARONI: Oh yeah, I’m [from] a different era. We weren’t in MMA because we wanted to get famous, or we wanted to be on a TV show. We were in MMA because we wanted to fight. We’re a different generation. Maybe there’s better athletes in there today – so they always want to say – but there were real fighters back then. We weren’t in it for the money, we had something to prove. So along those lines, I think I’m representing the old-school…the back-in-day hardcore guys, for the hardcore fans.
CAGEPOTATO.COM: There definitely not too many of you guys left, that’s for sure…
PHIL BARONI: Hey, I still got Minowa, I got one more to make with him. You named all the guys that aren’t around no more, but Minowa’s still doing good, so I still gotta beat his ass one more time.
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