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Phil Baroni Back at Middleweight for UFC 118


(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

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mmaniac22- May 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm
Long Live NYBA!
macreadysshack- May 19, 2010 at 4:09 pm
Kimbo/Baroni Superfight. C'mon, Baroni can make 215 with all the 'roids he *doesn't* do! It's especially easy to gain muscle when you're not doing any cardio . . . Get on it, Dana. Naw, Baroni belongs East, as in the Far East (West for us). Unlikely as it is, it's something we could actually see in Japan at some point.
Winterblack- May 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm
Not even sure if he's in the same weight class, or even still employed by the UFC. Drew McFedries vs Baroni would be cool. Maybe Rumble? Its a step backward but would be fun to watch
macreadysshack- May 19, 2010 at 2:03 pm
Lol @ 3% better than Bumfights . . .
Mr_Misanthropy- May 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm
Baroni should see if his Mom can line him up a job at Starbucks. Unfortunately for him he's going to get fired from the UFC after the death of the IFC, and I've heard the Kangaroo has a hard time getting licensed outside of Australia.

P.S.- I hate those fawking shutter shades. They make everybody who wears them look like the mole man, and we all know he was a mediocre super villain at best.
Ratel- May 19, 2010 at 11:45 am
This dude has become a younger, less battered Ken Shamrock. Seriously, look at the parallels here:
Super ripped physique - check
No cardio at all - check
Weird social presence that makes you wonder if he's intense or just a sociopath - check
Ego too large to fit into the saddledome - check
Grossly overestimates his own abilities - double check

But, if Lawlor comes out to fight Baroni in full Baroni persona, that's something I want to see. As long as one of them KOs the other in the first 90 seconds, otherwise it'll be only 3% better to watch than bumfights.
eyeheartmma- May 19, 2010 at 11:35 am
Really? This many people interested in either of these two?
Hm
El Guapo- May 19, 2010 at 11:19 am
I'm a Baroni booster. I remember his early days where he'd stomp the shit outta undersized kamikaze fighters in Japan. The middle years where he was somewhat competitive in the U.S. The war between him and Frank Shamrock..

But yeah, when the saying "his best days are behind him" is more accurately measured in years... Best believe it's time to hang 'em up. ESPECIALLY if you're in the fight game. Even my pop (who stops by for the food, beer, poker, to get out of the house then the fights)knows Baroni has shitty cardio. "Hey, I know him! He's the guy who punches himself out in two minutes. He's got too much muscle. The thin and wiry kid's gonna win."
HokeyPokeyLikeAoki- May 19, 2010 at 11:16 am
The only person at 185 that Phil stands a chance against is Evan Tanner. Start digging.
macreadysshack- May 19, 2010 at 10:39 am
I say this flinchingly, because a lot of you guys seem to really like Baroni, but . . . Dude's a sideshow at best. His personality is big and quirky, his physique is flawless but his training (as so many of you have already mentioned) sucks goat ass. He may be one of those 10% or so of people who just CAN'T get badass cardio (I read an article somewhere - maybe it's bullshit). He also has that ego thing that I think gets in his way of learning new things (see Mark Coleman).

He's entertaining as hell and charismatic but I don't think he belongs in the UFC. I think he could do very well in Japan.
macreadysshack- May 19, 2010 at 10:32 am
@Almost North . . . Beautiful. Here's a pitch for it: The Ford Baroni. Because you voted for McCain.
justscrappin- May 19, 2010 at 9:35 am
Yeah...if you have to rely solely on speed and explosiveness...and your weightclass is above LW....your probably going to gas unless your opponent has no standup defense and/or no chin. The story of Phil's life.
Soda Popinski- May 19, 2010 at 9:18 am
speed...explosiveness....strength...explosiveness. reading his quote was like getting a hold of the script for Die Hard 3.
Almost North- May 19, 2010 at 9:09 am
Can you imagine a Lawlor-Baroni 2nd round? Two guys throwing one huge punch every 40 seconds and gasping like fish out of water. I'm a big Lawlor fan but that guy needs to save something for the later rounds.
Kid Clam Curtains- May 19, 2010 at 9:07 am
Tom Lawlor would wreck NYBA's shit in the first round.
BONGTAR- May 19, 2010 at 9:01 am
If you follow baroni on twitter, he is a weird dude at best. Always throwing out motivational quotes in the am, and tweets about drinking and poker and chicks at night. Always tweets that he had a bad meal and too much wine. But he has just spent the last month or so in Thailand working out so, I don't know......
Old_Bald_and_Irish- May 19, 2010 at 8:49 am
Hugs and kisses to ya, ReX13.

Been busy with a new job. Don't have as much time to jerk around here.
Old_Bald_and_Irish- May 19, 2010 at 8:47 am
@ steampunk 22

I agree that Baroni should change his regime.

The guy always shows up in shape. He puts his work in.

But I've suspected for a long time that he spends too much time hitting the weights to have the cut "UFC look" that Zuffa luvs so much. I really think that's why Dana White hates Roy Nelson so much. Dana wants a Porche and instead Nelson looks like "'Mater" from CARS.

Note to Phil: If you REALLY put in the cardio work, you will be quick and explosive.

Honestly, when ya start gettin' older, everything is harder. Take it from me; I know. I think Phil's just about to turn 40. If he hasn't cracked to cardio issue by now, it's never gonna happen.

Don't get me wrong. I luv the NYBA. I really hope he wins and I enjoy watchin' him fight. He's one of those fighters that truly has one-punch KO power. Dudes got dynamite in his fists.

....but ya'll know about "old dogs and new tricks".
ReX13- May 19, 2010 at 8:42 am
sweet jesus, OBI and agentsmith both showed up this morning. Nice to see some of the old guard still around.
steampunk22- May 19, 2010 at 8:32 am
Yeah this is not an issue of what class is right for him, more an issue if his training regime when he is getting ready for a fight. Heavy reliance on strength conditioning over cardio will lose you fights the majority of the time. The guy is big though, I mean, its gotta be hard to massively improve your cardio when your muscle mass is that developed, but still.

The variance in strength from one fighter to another is a lot less than the variance in cardio. Better to be 10% weaker and 50% faster, ya dig? ;P
agentsmith- May 19, 2010 at 8:25 am
Sweet fuck, the word "explosive" is now officially as played-out as "extreme".
El Famous Burrito- May 19, 2010 at 8:18 am
Baroni by Guido-tine!
sonochamp- May 19, 2010 at 8:17 am
Phil Baroni: Shitty in 2 weight classes!
If he loses this fight, will he try to be even more "explosive" and stink up the arena at 205?
Almost North- May 19, 2010 at 8:17 am
@GUI-uh-TEEN

The Baroni, by Ford. Now with a 7 liter engine and a moped gas tank. 0-45 in 3.2 seconds but not enough fuel to get to 60. Featuring pre-stained upholstery and if you order now we will fill the glove box with Chinese steroids.
El Famous Burrito- May 19, 2010 at 8:08 am
Lawlor vs. Baroni would be great only if Lawlor came to the octagon as Phil Baroni.
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