interview: Phil Baroni
Phil Baroni Insists He Has More Left in Tank
Baroni told host Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of "The MMA Hour" that ahead of his fight against Yoshiyuki Yoshida at One FC next month in Singapore, he's excited again.
"Every time I start camp and I'm out of shape, I think I'm done," Baroni said. "I want to get the hell out of here. Once I start getting in shape and my body starts feeling good, I want to do it as long as I can. When you see guys like (Dan) Henderson – it's motivating to see guys at 40 looking as good as he looks."
Baroni (14-13) returned to the UFC in late 2009 for the first time since UFC 51 in February 2005. He lost to Amir Sadollah in his first fight back. And after some time at Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand, and a decision to return to middleweight, he booked a fight with Brad Tavares at UFC 125 in January. But Taveres landed a big knee in the first round and finished Baroni with strikes, giving the New Yorker a three-fight skid and an exit from the UFC with a 13-13 career record.
It didn't take Baroni long to get back on the horse, though. At a March Titan FC show in Kansas City, Baroni grinded out a decision win over Nick Nolte – a fight he said was hard on him because of injuries.
"Going into that fight, I was a little beat up," Baroni said. "The fight was rough. I had some broken ribs, and I just had to get through that fight. it wasn't so much a great win. It was a relief to get a W. I didn't win that fight with an exclamation point. It wasn't a good fight. No one said, 'Let's sign this guy up.'"
But though Baroni said he had considered retirement, it might have been an easier choice had he lost to Nolte – especially because no major promotion would have been clamoring to put him on a card.
"You're done when you give up," Baroni said. "I would've been a really bad position for me (if I lost). I was really hurting in there, but I did what I had to do to get the win."
Quote: "I'm a road warrior – I'm excited to go overseas and fight," Baroni said. "There's a big diff between Singapore and Japan, but I wanted to fight in the show. I'm in no man's land right now (in my career). Pride rules ... knees on the ground ... (no holds barred) – I think it's good. It's my style." Phil Baroni Insists He Has More Left in Tank
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