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Midnight Mania! Josh Barnett believes CTE is a factor in Phil Baroni’s ‘terrible and incredibly tragic’ murder charge

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The situation doesn’t look great for UFC and PRIDE veteran Phil Baroni.

While many details remain unclear, a report yesterday claims that Baroni stands charged with murder in San Pancho, Mexico after a dispute with his girlfriend. Per the first report, Baroni bloodied up his girlfriend then called the police, who found her unresponsive and battered.

Former UFC champion and general MMA legend Josh Barnett has a lot of experience working with “The New York Badass” over the years. In his opinion, Baroni’s current situation is the result of a long decline likely due to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

“The news about Phil Baroni is terrible and incredibly tragic as well,” Barnett tweeted. “I’ve known Phil for two decades plus, and at the first JB Bloodsport show could see that his personality and behavior was erratic, displaced, and emotionally he was all over the place, and it was obvious why: CTE.

“It was so tough dealing with him at the show that I couldn’t keep booking him even though I wanted to. He was too much to handle and so scattered. He blew up at me because I hadn’t used him again and I blocked him on social media but there wasn’t much I could do. Fighters, need to take [care] of themselves, and those around them need to be vigilant and watchful as well. I’ve seen the decline from the man I have been friends with for so long to where he was last I saw him, and it’s heartbreaking. Now with what has happened in Mexico it’s just so awful.”

CTE is a hot button topic in all of contact sports right now, a difficult-to-detect brain condition cause by repeated trauma that can cause rapid deterioration. It’s been widely claimed that MMA is healthier for the brain than sports like boxing or American football, but the sport is so relatively new that some are questioning that idea.

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