Some people just don’t give up. Early-UFC star “The New York Bad Ass” Phil Baroni is one of them, something he proved based on his latest social media entry.
On Sunday evening, former UFC fan-favorite, or heel, depending on which side of the Baroni-fence you sat on, “The New York Bad Ass” took to Twitter to — yet again — lobby for a gig as a professional wrestler, something many MMA fans assumed he would be a perfect fit for, given his over-the-top ring entrances and his flashy ring attire.
At age 39, Baroni, who currently holds a professional MMA record of 15 wins and 18 losses, burst onto the MMA scene back in 2000, before jumping to the UFC level in 2001 after just three pro MMA bouts.
Baroni, who dubbed himself “The New York Bad Ass,” would go on to achieve a fair amount of success in the early part of his UFC run, brutally knocking out Amar Suloev inside the first round before violently knocking out former UFC Middleweight Champion Dave Menne in just 18 seconds.
It was at this point that Baroni was seen by some as a legitimate contender to the UFC title, a Vitor Belfort-esque young kid who exploded on the scene with fast hands and brutal knockout power, who seemed to steamroll through experienced, battle-tested veterans as if they were beginners.
While Baroni would achieve sporadic success throughout the remainder of his career, which spanned well over a decade after the Menne fight, which many considered to be the performance of his career, after the fight, Baroni would go on the first of what would become many losing streaks inside the cage and/or ring.
A devastating loss in a rematch to Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland, who Baroni nearly edged out via majority decision just over a year prior to their second meeting, would send Baroni’s career on a downward spiral, one he never quite seemed to recover from.
Due to his crowd-pleasing style of fighting, as well as his marketable look and verbal abilities, “The New York Bad Ass” would remain an Octagon employee for three more years, losing all four fights in that three-year time span, before being released from the promotion in February of 2005.
Baroni would then begin a run that appeared to be a sign that he was reviving his career, as he found success in Japan, compiling a 4-2 record in their “PRIDE Bushido” series of events, before leaving for a mega-fight at the time with MMA pioneer Frank Shamrock in the now defunct Strikeforce promotion, a fight that really helped put the B-level North American-based MMA promotion on the map.
Baroni, however, would go on to take one of the most one-sided beatdowns of his MMA career in the bout with Shamrock, despite considerable success for the event at the box office.
“The New York Bad Ass” would find himself back in the Octagon after stringing together three wins in a row, with a lone defeat coming at the hands of fellow former UFC veteran Joe “Diesel” Riggs.
Once back in the UFC, Baroni quickly realized that the level of talent had increased in the short amount of time he was away from the Octagon, as he would go on to lose what to this day are his last two fights in the UFC.
After returning back to the low-level professional MMA circuit, Baroni would put together a pro MMA record of 2-5, with his most three recent trips to the cage resulting in defeat.
These days, Baroni is looking for a career change, as he has made continuous attempts at getting his foot in the door for one of the top professional wrestling promotions in the country.
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