(Baroni was kind enough to take a break from filming the new "Miami Vice" movie in order to drop by the Strikeforce press conference.)
MMA needs characters just as much as it needs the stoic types who just bore everyone by doing nothing but winning fights and keeping their mouth shut. But God bless Phil Baroni, who will make sure there is never a dull moment when he shows up to your party. Looking over the quotes from yesterday’s Strikeforce presser it’s enough to make you wonder whether they didn’t open with a standup routine from Baroni. Just check out some of the gems he dropped on the mic in St. Louis yesterday.
On fighting styles and management choices:
"I asked my agent – I said ‘hey get me a southpaw to fight.’ My agent’s pretty stupid. He said ‘What’s that? He didn’t know what a southpaw was. So, I said "It’s a (expletive) left-handed fighter. I’m real good at fighting lefties. Lefties are made to order for me. They eat straight right hands and I’ve got a pretty (expletive) big one. I’m going to put it right on his kisser."
On the usual press conference niceties:
"Never mind being in shape. I’m not thanking anybody for being here. Any promotion that has me, it’s lucky for them. No one’s kissing anyone’s asses. I’m just ready to fight and beat the (expletive) out of him."
On Joe Riggs:
"Really, there’s not much to say. Joe’s 25 years old and he’ll have his day. On June 6, I’m knocking him the (expletive) out. I’m going to (expletive) him up bad. I’m going to bust him up the whole (expletive) fight. It’s up to him how long he wants to last. Whether he wants to last one round or he wants to last three – I’m going to (expletive) him up."
On man’s doomed struggle to stave off death:
"It’s do or die for me and I ain’t (expletive) ready to die. I got a lot of fighting left in me. Joe’s young. I’m a man now and I think he’s a boy. Someday I’ll probably commentate for Joe when he’s fighting for a world title. This is my time. I’m going to take care of my business and that starts with Joe and everyone else at 170 pounds with Strikeforce."
Now does someone want to explain to me why Baroni isn’t doing two shows a day at the Mandalay Bay in between training sessions? If only he could find a way to bring back the same excitement and entertainment value after the opening bell rings.