Josh Cross | Feb 11, 2011 | 2 comments
Phil Baroni fought his first UFC bout in 2001 at UFC 30 in Atlantic City, N.J. It was just his second pro bout and he scored a unanimous decision over Curtis Stout.
Since then, Baroni (13-13) has gone on to fight multiple times a year in the top organizations in the world, the UFC, PRIDE, Elite XC and Strikeforce. Despite a .500 record, Baroni has remained a fan-favorite because of his exciting go-for-broke style.
Baroni is the type of fighter you root for, the type of fighter you want to see do good. He’s the consummate entertainer.
On March 25, Baroni will compete at Titan Fighting Championships 17, taking on Kansas City middleweight up-and-comer Nick Nolte (2-2) LIVE on HDNet.
Baroni knows how important this fight is for his career. He is used to competing at a high level and taking a fight with a relative unknown like Nolte is dangerous.
ProMMAnowcom‘s (www.prommanow.com) Joshua Cross caught up with “The New York Badass” this week to talk about the upcoming fight, which will be his first since being released from the UFC last month. Baroni discussed the style match-up, his training, long term goals, how long he plans to keep competing and which one of his old foes he would like the chance to pay back.
PRO MMA NOW: You’re fighting Nick Nolte (3-2) at Titan Fighting Championships 17. Titan Fighting CEO Joe Kelly recently said that this was the first leg of your comeback tour. How do you plan on kicking it off?
PHIL BARONI: I plan on kicking it off with an exciting win. Whether it’s a knockout or a submission finish, I definitely plan on finishing the fight and looking good in doing it.
PRO MMA NOW: Kelly also said that this gives you an opportunity to work back to where you want to be. Can you elaborate on that and tell us where exactly it is that you want to eventually be in the future?
PHIL BARONI: Well right now in the middleweight division, all roads lead to the UFC. I mean that could change. Who knows what could go on with Bellator or Strikeforce, but right now in my mind, all roads lead back to the UFC. In that organization I feel like I didn’t have my best performances there and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I have a bad taste in my mouth and I would like to get back in there and show everybody what I’ve really got.
PRO MMA NOW: How long have you known about this fight, and how long have you been training for it?
PHIL BARONI: I’ve known about this fight for about a week now. I’ve watched [Nolte] fight a couple of times on YouTube. I didn’t get to see his Strikeforce fight or his Bellator fight yet, so I’m going to try and do that, but I’ve seen some of his earlier fights. He just brings it. He’s got a pretty good D’arce Choke, he’s got pretty good take down defense. He’s pretty aggressive with high kicks and punches and spinning back fists. He’s a dangerous opponent and he comes to fight. This is a big opportunity for him. I think he’ll be a game opponent and I think it will be an exciting fight for the fans.
PRO MMA NOW: From what you do know about Nolte, what’s your game plan for this fight?
PHIL BARONI: I’ve been fighting for over 10 years. The game plan is pretty much always the same.
PRO MMA NOW: And what exactly is that game plan?
PHIL BARONI: Smash him as fast as possible.
Read the rest of the interview at www.prommanow.com
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