Phil Baroni is back.
For better or worse, "The New York Bad Ass" will be invading hearts and homes again very soon. You missed him. It's okay. You can admit it.
The inaugural event is scheduled to take place at the 12,000 seated capacity Singapore Indoor Stadium and will be broadcast on domestic TV in Singapore by Media Corp, to 24 Asian countries by ESPN Star Sports and streamed live on the internet for free.
The television audience is potentially the largest in MMA history. According to the promotion, tickets are virtually sold out.
Baroni will have the opportunity to regain some of the notoriety he's lost since being cut by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after losing to Brad Tavares at UFC 125 in Las Vegas, Nevada on Jan. 1 of this year (2011).
Don't call it a comeback.Though some critics would say Baroni's career is on a downward slide, he believes he can follow in the footsteps of guys like Randy Couture and Dan Henderson, who fought off the MMA grim reaper longer than most.
"I’m getting better as a fighter. My skills are a lot better and I’m strong! I’m an athlete. Look at my body. I look like a 22-year-old Olympian. I’m going to be around for a while. I’m going to drive this body till the wheels fall off. I’m a fighter. It’s who I am and what I do."
Baroni doesn't listen to the naysayers. He is confident in his skill set and is making some bold proclamations these days.
"I’m the best in the world at 170 lbs. I believe that. I plan on showing it at ONE FC. I’m looking to win the ONE FC Championship. I’m setting up shop in Southeast Asia. Sometimes there are outside factors that cause a fighter not to be at his best. Injuries, home life, family. All I’m saying is: none of those (factors) will be an issue at ONE FC. I don’t listen to that s---. The media is full of hater reporters whose wives’ and daughters’ favorite fighter is Phil Baroni."
Yoshida, Baroni's opponent on Sep. 3, will be looking for similar redemption. He (Yoshida) has lost four of his last six fights and, like Baroni, was also cut by the UFC in the not-so-distant past. Baroni isn't worried about Yoshida and he says he has some special plans for him.
"I’m going to tap dance on Yoshida’s head and have the most violent finish at ONE FC. I'll test his chin, heart and spirit. I see it being a replay of my fight with Minowa in PRIDE. The ending of the first fight. My advice to Yoshida? Take out some really good dental insurance. Say, 'Banzai' and get ready to be separated from consciousness. You will be honored at your funeral for taking this fight."
To his new potential fans in Singapore, Baroni has the following declaration:
"I have been put on this earth for 2 things: To kick ass and chew bubble gum. It’s obvious that I’m not coming to Singapore to chew bubble gum. After the fight, I’m going to stick around Singapore for a few days and party with everyone. Show me a good time please... as I will show you an exciting fight."
For the record, my wife's favorite fighter isn't Phil Baroni. I'm just sayin'.
What say you, Maniacs? Are you up for another showing of Baroni strolling down to the ring wearing his signature shades and his synthetic tan? GTL baby! Sound off!