Exclusive: Phil Baroni Talks Future Plans, When He May Fight Next

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Phil Baroni Talks Future Plans, When He May Fight Next

By Chris Howie

Following a 2008 that started off with two losses in a row, “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni decided a change was needed and a drop from the middleweight division down to the 170lb welterweight class seemed to be the answer. Baroni would finish 2008 off by reeling off three straight wins.

Getting married to his long time girlfriend would close 2008 for Baroni and when asked how the married life was treating him Baroni joked “It’s got me out of shape; let’s just put it that way.”

Although he jokes he could fight in the 205lb division right now, Baroni says he plans on getting back in shape and then fighting often in 2009. Likely, his first fight of the year will take place in March or April if all goes well.

In terms of what promotion he may fight for next and who the opponent may be, it appears there are quite a few options for the UFC veteran. “We’ve been talking to a promotion in Canada about fighting an up and coming kid. We’ve also talked with ICON about a rematch with (Kala) Hose. There have also been talks with Strikeforce as well and the UFC but this Pro Elite contract is holding everything up. Right now I’m focused on getting in shape and fighting very often in 2009.”

As with many fighters that had contracts with Pro Elite and EliteXC, their fighting careers have been put in limbo after the company basically closed up shop following their last card in October and Baroni is not one to be shy on how he feels about it. “Everything about this Pro Elite contract is bullshit. It’s causing nothing but problems.” With rumors that EliteXC may be back at some point Baroni doesn’t seem so sure “I don’t know what to think. Nobody really does. It sucks.”

Always on good terms with Dana White and the UFC brass following his time with the company, Baroni says he has always kept in touch with them since leaving. “I have always been friends with those guys and we talk from time to time. There’s not much we can do now with this contract problem but hopefully at some point I am back in the UFC.”

Being around the business for a long time and working with different promotions can give you a good look into how companies run things and for Baroni, he has always praised how the UFC has done things and when he looks at the EliteXC debacle there can be absolutely no comparisons in his eyes. “With these guys, they wasted so much money in such a short amount of time. They did dumb things like – why did they need to have a great big giant office in Beverly Hills. When I was with the UFC they had a little tiny office down the stairs in a little building and look where they are at today. They did it right. Pro Elite had a bunch of people on salary doing the same job or no job at all, whereas the UFC had just a couple guys that worked hard.” With paydays for Kimbo Slice in the $500,000 range for a 14 second loss, EliteXC appeared to have a go big or go home attitude, unfortunately for them they went home, Baroni thoughts “Cya, wouldn’t wanna be ya, you know?”

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