Following on the heels of our interview with another "old school" UFC fighter, Royce Gracie, we spoke to one who has been around since UFC 30. Although he's not reached the levels of success that put him in the hall of fame category, The NY Badass, Phil Baroni isn't anywhere near hanging it up. Speaking with him, he seems humble, understanding of the training needs in today's game, and hungry to climb back into the mix.
"It's huge now. It's big business... Today it's a machine."
Do you feel the UFC disposes of fighters too
easily or quickly? Would they be well served to have a sort of "minor leagues" type of sub-
organization or do the other ones out there almost serve that purpose for them in your eyes?
I cant make that call. Its not my business or
my model. In the UFC winning takes care of everything. Win and you keep your job. It's that
You have also been able to fight in quite a
few name organizations. Which do you think was best organized of them?
PRIDE was run well and Strike Force was very
Looking forward in your own career, what do
you think the path back to a belt is for you?
To keep training, dedicate my life to this
game,and improve. Put it all together and just fight. Not think forget about pressure, have fun
I see you talking about strength training
quite a bit on your site. What aspects of your MMA skills do you feel need the most improvement
to reach your goals?
I just need to be well rounded and put it
together better. Mix it up and not be so predictable. Strength and conditioning help a lot as
well. It all goes back to training consistently.
If there was one thing you could go back and
redo in your career, what would it be?
I would have fought differently, said
different things at times, and trained year-round. Lived it. Trained to improve and grow. Not
just prep for a fight. I would have focused more on ground and putting it all together and
relied on my wrestling more than my boxing.
Do you feel that a fighter has to be in one of
the big camps (AKA, ATT, Jackson, et. al) to reach the top levels of the sport now?
Right now it seems that way. And that's why I
train at AKA.
If you were able to be any weight on command
and take a fight with any fighter in any weight class, who would you most like to get a crack
Right now that's Jon Jones, Anderson or GSP.
Even Cain all the Champs right now are huge stars and super talented. I guess that's why they're
"...all the Champs right now are huge stars and super talented. I guess that's why they're
Which fighter do you like to watch as a fan of
Fedor, Overeem and Cain. They're all exciting
and fight for the finish. They are fun to watch.
Mark "The Ezequiel" Figula is the biggest wuss to ever enter a cage... the most spindly chickenass dude to ever tap out at NAGA... the boy who was told that the pen is mightier than the sword... and thus he writes. Check out his home page of scribblings at www.markfigula.com.