We reported earlier this week here on MMAmania.com that Phil "The New York Badass" Baroni (10-10) was moving down to the welterweight division for the first time ever and would compete on the Cage Rage: "Step Up" card on July 12.
Today, his opponent, Scott Jansen (3-2), was revealed. In addition, the 170-pound fight will be featured as the main event of the evening.
Jansen is a hometown English-born fighter who has competed mostly in the Cage Rage "Contenders" shows. He should make for an exciting match up for Baroni because he's never gone the distance. And all three of his wins have come via technical knockouts and his two losses are by submissions.
Clearly, Jansen prefers to stand and bang it out with his opponents and has some work to do on his submission defense. I doubt he'll have to worry too much about defending submissions in this fight, however, because Baroni isn't known to be much of a jiu-jitsu afficionado himself.
In fact, Baroni's cited his move to the 170-pound division as a result of the weight class not having many one-punch knockout artists such as himself. He thinks it's something he can capitalize on and finally capture that world championship that has alluded him thus far in his career.
"The New York Badass" is coming off three straight losses under the Elite XC banner, most recently losing on the May 31 "Saturday Night Fights" CBS show to Joey Villasenor by first round technical knockout.
This should be an entertaining fight for the British fans. Baroni is a showman and is usually very exciting to watch despite his ridiculously long entrances.
The co-featured fight of the night will be a heavyweight showdown between Robert "Buzz" Berry (12-7) and Neil Grove(5-1).