You have a contract currently with PrideFC, does that mean you're exclusively fighting for just them?
Baroni: I'm under contract with PRIDE but is good about letting its fighters take fights in other organizations. They want there fighters to keep active as long as it does not conflict with one of thier shows.
Do you prefer fighting here in USA, or over in Japan and what the Pros and Cons do you feel each country has to offer?
Baroni: Let's just say the fans are a lot more supportive in Japan and they don't turn on you with a blink of the eye. But, I live in America and would get more out of life and my career fighting here. If my PRIDE fights took place in the UFC, I would be the man right now. A lot of people in the US don't know I'm still fighting. All the new fans from TUF don't even know who the **** I am. They walk right past me to get Dana White's autograph (LMAO) what a ****ing joke.
(Phil Baroni About to Unload a Right Hand on Kondo)
Currently we saw you at the W.F.A. where they did a small interview and I know you where up in Big Bear training with many of the fighters that fought night. Any chance we may say you in a Future W.F.A event?
Baroni: You never know. Money talks and cash screams. If they made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Or if PRIDE wanted to lend me out. To me the only titles that mean something are PRIDE and the UFC. That's what I'm after one of those titles. Honestly it's not about the money for me it's about being a champion, waking up everyday giving it all I got and leaving it all out there. I just want to be a champion once before I die.
Do you think PRIDE does enough to promote itself in North America? It has a huge and very marketable pool of fighters including yourself, Randleman, Coleman, Crocop, Fedor, Wanderlei, Belfort, Arona, Henderson, etc., yet it doesn't seem to want to invest much money in gaining serious ground in the USA. The Fox Sports Network plays old Broadcast and all of their PPVs are tape delayed by a day or more. Do you think PRIDE just hasn't cared that much about the American market until recently, or is it that they had trouble figuring out how to get a piece of it?
Baroni: I dont know. I'm not a promoter. I'm just a blue collar guy trying to make it in life. I think they are so successful in Japan the US isn't a big priority to them. But we will see they are coming here in October. I think they have seen how much the sport has blown up since TUF 1 they now want a piece of the pie. We will see how successful they are and how much the UFC owns the market lead in the USA.
Phil, out of all of your past opponents that you have fought who would you most likely love to get a rematch with and why?
Baroni: Pete Sell - I don't think I have to answer why.
You been in the fight game for quite a while and fought some of the best guys as you always step up to fight whoever they put in front of you. How do you feel about the Future of MMA as the sport is currently growing bigtime.
Baroni: Back when I first got into it I didn't have a real manager and would fight whoever. I basically trained myself and would fight anyone. It was a matter of pride for me back then. To prove how tough I was. I took the toughest fights all the time. If I was just starting out now I would hire a real manager to pick my fights a lot better and get with a real team like AKA or Miletich and devolop. Come up slow. Get 20 wins under my belt before I fought all the best fighters in the world. It's a business now a days. I think if I went about it that way I would be the champ by now and would have a more complete game. I'd be a better and more successful fighter but it's never too late. Just the record thing I can't fix, and I'm not going to start fighting chumps now to pad my record. Nothing in my life has ever come easy. I never expected fighting to be any different. It's the journey not the destination I've always been told. I've been on one hell of a journey. You can say I've done it my way. When I finally win a world title it will mean a lot more to me, knowing I've earned it. I never ducked anyone, I've fought the best, had bad lows, picked my self back up and crawled my way to the top.
Whats your relationship with Dana White these days as you guys use to seem pretty tight. And any truth of the rumor that you were offered to be on TUF 4 "The Comeback"?
Baroni: Yeah, Dana and I are pretty tight. Yes I was offered a spot on TUF 4 but to be honest that would not be what I'd want. I don't want to be famous I want to be a fighting champion. I feel going on that show would down play all the tough fights I had in PRIDE. It's real hard going to Japan and winning fights. I'm proud of that. I've earned my right to be in the UFC. I don't want Reality TV to be the reason I'm in the UFC.
How long have you been training with Hammer House, and are you still training with them?
Baroni: Lets just say I'm on the Hammer House. I train at AKA.
Who are your main training partners when preparing for your upcoming fights? I know I have done passed interviews with Mayhem and he always mentioned your name as one of his main training partners in the past. It's funny because both of you have completely different styles.
Baroni: Mayhem is a great training partner. We are completely different in every way not just fighting styles. One thing that we both have in common is we train hard and have huge hearts when we fight. We give it our all 100% every time we step in the ring. Fighting is the most important thing in both our lives. We both have high goals and will do anything to accomplish them. I'd have to say over the years Mayhem has been a great training partner. Now I train at AKA and all the guys are tough: Prangley, Swick, Koshcheck, Thomson all the guys .
Hey Phil, Who were your favorite fighters growing up? And who do you enjoy watching fight in todays MMA events?
Baroni: Wanderlei Silva was and still is. The guy is a savage. He is the man.
Since your close to Hammer House can you say anything about the condition of Kevin Randleman and have any idea what's in store for him in the future? We all hope for his return and being healthy and 100% again?
Baroni: Kevin is doing good. He will be back in the near future.
Was it true that Ricco Rodriguez really got a restraining order against you a few years back? If so, what was that all about?
Baroni: Yeah it was a long time ago. I like Ricco - he has enough problems without me having to talk shit on him.
So how long did you train with Marc Laimon and what was he specifically helping or coaching you on? And what caused the fallout between you guys?
Baroni: I'm sorry, I am tired of talking about Laimon. I have nothing good to say. I thought he was a friend and he scumbagged me. **** him.
What's your view on Jiu-Jitsu as you use to talk a lot of smack on jiu-jitsu guys....and how much jiu-jitsu do you train as we all know you love to stand toe to toe and throw punches?
Baroni: I've trained Jiu-Jitsu more than anything the last 3-4 years. Mayhem was one of my best training partners. What do you think we trained Karate? I've worked a lot on my ground game. You never see me taking to much punishment when I am down there. And I've gotten up in all my fights in the last 3 years. That's what I work on mainly.
What injuries have you sustained over the years of training?
Baroni: A torn pectoral muscle, 2 torn MCL's, a torn Meniscus, hand and wrist injury's, bad back, broken nose a few times, Pulled groin, a bad hip, broken ribs and all the other common injury's.
You say you feel you deserve a Title Shot? I think a fight between you and Dan Henderson would be exciting as you both love to stand toe to toe. How would you see that fight playing out?
Baroni: That would be a great fight. I think my hands are faster and I'm a more skilled striker. I think I hit harder with both hands. I think I can take a better shot than Dan as well. I also think I have better conditioning than Dan. It would be a great fight, he has his advantages as well. In the end I think it would come down to who wants it more. I believe I want it more than Dan.
Will Phil Baroni Achieve His Goal And Become A World Champion?
On the same topic above lets change organizations to the UFC - as how do you think a fight between you and Rich Franklin would play out? As he also likes to stand toe to toe and would be another exciting fight to watch if it ever materialized?
Baroni: Another great fight. I don't think Franklin matches up well with me at all. I don't think he cant hurt me and on the same token he don't take the best shot. I'm a better wrestler than he is. I'm stronger and faster. I match up great with lefty's -- ask Yuki Kondo. I think style wise that would be an easier fight than Dan. Rich has a big heart and is brave. I think that would be his down fall. I think I'd hurt him then put him to sleep. I don't think he has anything for me. Don't get me wrong styles make fights, he is a great champion and is always in top shape his conditioning is his best attribute. To combat that, I have a great strength and conditioning coach, Matt Smith - who is helping me make conditioning a priority and strong point. He has changed me as an athlete. I think in a fight against Franklin I'd surprise a lot of people with my stamina. I'm a different fighter. Smith has changed me physically as well as my whole approach.
And the last question who do you think is the "****ing Best 185 lber in the World Today"?
Baroni: On paper, it's Henderson followed by Franklin. I do think I'm one opportunity and one punch from taking either spot.