(Does Phil Baroni even have control over what comes out of his mouth?)
Following UFC 86 Sherdog ran a story featuring comments from notable MMA fighters regarding their thoughts on the Forrest Griffin-Quinton Jackson decision. It was a pretty standard reaction piece, with the most interesting comment coming from Mac Danzig, who seemed to disparage Rampage’s overall persona.
But then Fightlinker pointed out that Phil Baroni, who had been quoted calling the decision “some bullshit”, was claiming that he never actually gave a quote to Sherdog:
First off I never gave my opinion on the fight being scored wrong to anyone esp a reporter from Sherdog. I never spoke to any media about my opinion the fight. I think its bullshit that Sherdog quoted me. First off I think the fight was a great one. Second I feel the decision was a fair one. I think Forrest is an inspiration and fought his heart out. His career is an inspiration and story book. He did a great job fought like a true champion against Rampage and his entire career. He deserves to be UFC champion and I take my hat off to him.
Now, if that were any other fighter, this claim would be pretty shocking. It’s not like Sherdog to just make up quotes. But since it’s Baroni, there is always the possibility that he a) is just screwing with them, or b) has no idea whether he did or didn’t give that quote.
Steve Cofield has information that seems to indicate it’s the latter.
On Cofield’s Yahoo! blog he has an audio clip from ESPN Radio 1100 host Pauly Howard who lends credence to the possibility that Baroni might have been in an altered state that night.
Howard describes an incident between Baroni and man who had an issue with where his friends were sitting that ended with Baroni calling him a “fat jew…like ten times.” Oh, Baroni. Ten times? At that point you just become repetitive.
Apparently the cops were called over but nothing came of the incident. Now Baroni’s claims that he never spoke to Sherdog (who stands behind the story) would have us believe that he at least thinks he was in control of what he was saying that night and remembers who he said it to. I’m not sure which is worse: an anti-Semitic tirade when you’re in complete control of your faculties, or one on a night when you don’t even remember who you spoke to.
Props to Fightlinker for digging this story out and following up on all its sad hilarity.