(Phil Baroni: Here for the orgy. / Props: sports.sho.com)
MMA Junkie confirmed yesterday that veteran slugger Phil Baroni will be competing at UFC 118, August 28th in Boston. No opponent has been named yet, but as the New York Bad Ass told BJPenn.com, his next fight will see him return to middleweight. After compiling a journeyman’s record of 10-10 over the first eight years of his career, Baroni dropped to 170 pounds in 2008 and won his first three fights against Scott Jansen, Ron Verdadero, and Olaf Alfonso. Those wins were followed by unanimous decision losses to Joe Riggs in Strikeforce and Amir Sadollah in Baroni’s Octagon return at UFC 106. Once again, it’s time to regroup:
"I’m going to go back up to 185 for this fight…The cut [to welterweight] was rough; I think I made the cut wrong the last couple times I made the weight (to 170). I lost some strength and I lost some of my speed and explosiveness and I think those are some of my strengths. So I think that in the future if I made the cut again I would do it slower and go about it a different way. But right now I’m more focused on getting my strength and power back and getting my explosiveness back and in order to do that I’m going to have to gain weight. So it’s going to be a cut right now to 185. I wouldn’t be able to make 170 right now and be able to perform at a higher level. But at 185 I think I’ll be able to get my strength and explosiveness back and be able to perform at a higher level. In the future I’m not ruling out 170 but right now I’m going to fight at 185. I’m not sure where the best weight class is for me and I’m not sure where I will be best at but right now it’s not 170, 185 is the place. 179 would probably be the best weight class for me, but I don’t have that luxury."
So who can the UFC give Phil at 185 who will contribute to a good brawl, and who’s also hanging on to his job by his fingernails? Start getting in shape, Tom Lawlor…