(Baroni training at Xtreme Couture, looking ripped.)
Joe Riggs was expecting a fight with Jake Shields in Strikeforce this summer and didn’t take kindly to the news that he would be getting Phil Baroni instead, but talking with Riggs this afternoon he said his focus is now fully on Baroni, who he is expecting to be “pharmaceutically enhanced” when they meet in the Strikeforce cage on June 6. While the “Diesel” stopped short of saying that Baroni was definitely on the juice, he did say that Baroni exhibits all the typical signs of a steroid user, from his physique to his performance on fight night.
“He always shows up in shape, looking shredded and puffed up, but I think he’ll be pharmaceutically enhanced, too. Just because he doesn’t test positive for steroids doesn’t mean he’s not on them right now.”
“…I don’t want to say that he’s on them for sure, because I don’t have any way of knowing that, but I do know that he’s done it in the past. I think he’s the kind of guy who relies on stuff like that because he doesn’t truly believe in himself.
“I think if he is, and I’m not saying for sure that he is, but the classic sign of a guy like that is he comes out hard and then poops out fast. That’s what he’s done historically if you look at his career. He’s real dangerous for the first couple minutes and then he fades away. That’s pretty much the tell-tale sign of a steroid user. Who knows, he might come out and do something he’s never done before, like push hard for all three rounds. I highly doubt it, but if that’s the case I’m more than ready for it.”
Riggs also seemed to suggest that Baroni, who was formally a part of Mark Coleman’s Hammer House team (which may or may not have existed only on Coleman’s porch), but now trains at Xtreme Couture, could be immersed in a steroid culture because of who he trains with.
“A lot of people use that stuff,” said Riggs. “I’m ignorant about it. I’ve never been around it, and I think a lot of that depends on who you train with and who you’re around. I’ve never been a part of that scene, so I don’t know much about it. I know it’s pretty bad for your body over the long term. It ages you and makes you poop out in your career earlier than you would otherwise, but I know a lot of top guys use it.”
Check back tomorrow for the full Joe Riggs interview, where he also discusses his difficulties getting Jake Shields to agree to a fight, his history with painkiller addiction, and more.