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Report: Former UFC fighter Phil Baroni arrested for murder in Mexico

Raising The Stakes For Cerebral Palsy Celebrity Poker Tournament Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter, Phil Baroni, has been arrested in San Pancho, Mexico, and is being charged with murdering his girlfriend.

According to a report from Tribuna De La Bahia, Baroni called police to a home he shared with his partner, whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. He claimed the two got into a fight after she admitted to cheating on him, and he threw her into a shower where she hit her head. He said he then helped her back into her bed, where she lost consciousness. That’s when he went out and flagged down the authorities.

The report from the Policia Estatal Turistica said local authorities found the victim naked on a bed with no vital signs, and that she had “multiple marks of beatings,” including bruises on her face and body. Photos taken by the police also appear to show bruising on one of Baroni’s fists.

Baroni has been charged with homicide and is currently being held at a jail in the Municipal Administrative Court of Valle de Banderas. Meanwhile, an autopsy is being performed on the victim to identify a specific cause of death.

Baroni is a long-time mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran who has fought for many of the largest promotions in the sport over his career, including the UFC, Pride FC, Strikeforce, ICON, EliteXC, ONE, DREAM and Bellator. He amassed a record of 16-19 (3-7 UFC) and fought big names like Matt Lindland, Evan Tanner, Ikuhisa Minowa, Frank Shamrock, Joe Riggs and Karo Parisyan, among others. He took a four-year break from competition following his loss to Parisyan in 2014, but returned in 2018 to compete twice more in MMA, and once under bareknuckle boxing rules against Chris Leben. He lost that fight via first round knockout (full results here).

In Dec. 2021 he won a boxing match in against winless (0-3) fighter, Ulises Parra Cardenas, in what now looks like his last combat sports fight.

Baroni was released from Bellator in 2014 after continuing to support his friend and training partner, Jon Koppenhaver, who was charged with the brutal assault and attempted murder of adult film star, Christy Mack. In 2017, he formed a professional wrestling tag team with Stephan Bonnar, only to blow up the relationship one year later by claiming he’d slept with Bonnar’s wife. In 2020, he raised alarm bells online after posting multiple pictures to his Instagram where he held a gun to his head.

We’ll keep you informed as this story develops.

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