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Exclusive Interview: Phil Baroni, ‘Too Old for the Jersey Shore’

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With his fight against Brad Tavares booked for 1/1/11, Phil Baroni has two options in front of him — victory, or possible banishment from the UFC. Our friend Ruben Vera tracked down the New York Bad Ass at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, and grilled him on everything from his brawl-based gameplans to his cardio problems to his fondest MMA memories. Honestly, it’s one of the most revealing interviews with Baroni that we’ve ever seen. Some highlights…

On his gameplan for Tavares: "You know me. I’ve been doing this for ten years, there’s no surprises. I’m gonna do what I do best."

On his conditioning struggles: "It’s genetic, dude. I’ve been training cardio for the last ten years, hard. It’s genetic. You got a guy like Cain Velasquez who just don’t get tired. He can just train all day. Even a guy like Koscheck…I don’t think there’s anything I’m not doing that other guys are doing. I have a lot better punching power than those guys. And I think I’m faster, I have more fast-twitch. I know I can beat them both in a race. But in a longer duration, those guys can keep going, and that’s one of the things that separates us…It seems like a lot of the Mexican guys have real good cardio, throughout history and in the UFC. Diego Sanchez has great cardio, Cain Velasquez, a ton of guys. I don’t know what it is, man, but I do the best with what I got."

On his return to middleweight: "I had almost no muscle at 170 and I still got tired, so that obviously wasn’t the answer. I feel a lot stronger [at 185]. That’s how I fight — I’m an explosive, fast fighter — but if I don’t have that, what do I have? And I didn’t have much going into that fight with Amir. I had a horrible training camp, I had a horrible performance…so I might as well go back up."

On life after MMA: "I don’t know yet. I’m too old for the Jersey Shore. We’ll see, I’m not ready to give it up yet, so hopefully I’ll get a couple wins in the UFC, two or three wins back to back, and change my whole life and change everyone’s outlook on my career. That’s what I’m planning on doing."

On Lesnar vs. Velasquez: "Cain. Not just because I train with him, but because he has an unbelievable gas tank…if you can fight as hard you want for 15 to 25 minutes, without ever thinking about getting tired, I mean I think if I had that gas tank I would easily be the champion. I think that’s the best weapon in the sport — better than jiu-jitsu, better than wrestling, better than standup, is having a gas tank like that. And [Velasquez] is well-rounded, he’s good at everything. He has no glaring weakness, so I have to pick him for the fight."

On the Worlds Greatest MMA Website: "CagePotato…the best eva!"

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frndlylion- October 21, 2010 at 3:47 am
I thought this was a pretty good interview and I gained some respect for Baroni for telling it like it is. I get tired of all the arrogance especially when a fighter does have a weakness. This shows that he is intelligently working with what he has and thats all any of us can hope to do no matter what our career is.

2DaDeath- October 20, 2010 at 10:13 pm
That's pretty awesome Saku, but what came first? Did CP vouch for you and then you called him up? Or did you just walk up to him on the street? Cuz the latter would be pretty fucking ballsy!
fatbellyfrank- October 20, 2010 at 8:28 pm
Another one of the Nation stands up with an excellent interveiw, thanks Saku
Sakuraba3900- October 20, 2010 at 6:30 pm
Yessiirrrr FBF I also got amoment with cain hopefully that will be up tomorrow I'm working on somepretty good stuffright now with some bigger names. I just hope you all like mystuff so I keep gettingsome space on here.
fatbellyfrank- October 20, 2010 at 4:07 pm
@ Saku, you did the interveiw? if so great job man, great job
fatbellyfrank- October 20, 2010 at 4:06 pm
Gotta love the New York badass, one of my favourites, he's the kind of guy I'd like to see head down under and work with a couple of our MMA organisations, he might not be UFC standard anymore, but the knowledge and attitude he would bring ino a fledgling company would be second to none, we could use a few more guys like him, and especially some great wrestling coaches, any one know if jens Pulver has enquired about moving to Aussie?
KrmtDfrog- October 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm
Good interview. Respect for Baroni for acknowledging his weakness and working hard to correct it, even if he hasn't succeeded.
2DaDeath- October 20, 2010 at 11:43 am
Something tells me you guys made up that last bit about the World's Greatest Website.
El Guapo- October 20, 2010 at 11:16 am
Max muscle is great for the beach, but not for a fight lasting more than a minute. Whenever my pop swings by to watch the fights he always takes the leaner of the two combatants. He's usually right. Every time(and I mean EVERY time)Baroni fights he says "that's the buff guy who gets tired easily" and sure enough... Puff, puff, gassed, redface.

But I still love the New York Badass. The guy's a warrior. His scrap with Shamrock was one of my favorites, even in defeat.
sevvi- October 20, 2010 at 10:52 am
Say what you want about Baroni. But he is a character and his fights are often fun to watch. The minigun barrage of punches he unleashed on Menne was just classic. WAR NYBA :D
Sakuraba3900- October 20, 2010 at 10:46 am
Glad you liked it guys... I'm just stoked its up.
danomite- October 20, 2010 at 10:15 am
I've always thought Phil was pretty damn entertaining, in or out of the ring. If things don't work out for him in the UFC I hope he tries transitioning into commentating instead of going the Ken Shamrock/Gary Goodridge route.

I have to agree with him about the bad cardio being genetic. I ran cross country for 4 years and sucked badly at it. I was always in the bottom two or three runners on my team, but in a 100 yard sprint I would wipe the floor with anybody out there. Sadly, now I am both slow and out of shape.
Seoul Brother- October 20, 2010 at 9:56 am
Maybe the Long Island Bad Ass could appear on "Jersey Shore" like Schneider on "One Day at a Time:" the greasy, unctuous comic relief guy.
Komodo- October 20, 2010 at 9:44 am
Baroni would be awesome on The Jersey Shore :P

At any rate... =WAR PHIL!=
Fried Taco- October 20, 2010 at 9:42 am
I didn't realize Koscheck is Mexican. That explains a lot.
Kimbos Bread- October 20, 2010 at 9:33 am
Baroni too old for Jersey Shore? Bollocks.
BigLugNuts- October 20, 2010 at 8:41 am
Quit asking him so many questions.....He's going to get tired and run out of gas from talking that long.
Kid Clam Curtains- October 20, 2010 at 8:35 am
I fucking love this guy.
knucklesamitch- October 20, 2010 at 8:24 am
I think there's flawed logic in the following statement:

"if you can fight as hard you want for 15 to 25 minutes, without ever thinking about getting tired, I mean I think if I had that gas tank I would easily be the champion."

The flaw IMO, is that it your gas tank doesn't take into account that you're going to get taken down and hammer fisted about 900 times in 2min by an absolute MONSTER.
Videodrome_NOW- October 20, 2010 at 8:24 am
I thought the interview may have gone smoother had the reporter not jumped the gun and assumed that everyone(including Baroni) thought he had a cardio problem. It might have been better to ask Phil what his take on it was.

I like Baroni and he's tough as nails. He showed a shitload of heart in his fight against Amir. I'm glad you guys posted this interview.
El Famous Burrito- October 20, 2010 at 8:22 am
Long Island...New Jersey...same thing. Dumbass guidos are dumbass guidos.

Not you Phil. You're cool.
Boo- October 20, 2010 at 8:21 am
War Baroni.

best evah.
831 Father- October 20, 2010 at 7:52 am
Did you know those guys on Jersey Shore aren't even from New Jersey, thus they don't represent that area. Fun fact from everyone's favorite, thisredengine. He gets mad and sweats anytime someone disses or misrepresents that area.
rite leg ospitahl- October 20, 2010 at 7:39 am
this video is ten minutes and some odd long! are u kidding me? i got to when he said Thailand and threw in the towel. who the fuck wants to listen to phil baroni for that long. i was hoping some how that the inevitable jersey shore comparisons would have been first. no such luck though.
El Famous Burrito- October 20, 2010 at 7:37 am
Fuck Kongo.

Phil's got our back.