MMAJunkie.com is reporting that a middleweight bout between MMA veteran Phil “New York Bad Ass” Baroni and The Ultimate Fighter alum Brad Tavares is currently on tap for the upcoming UFC 125 January event.
Phil Baroni is a veteran of the UFC’s early days (making his promotional debut at UFC 30 back in 2001) as well as of the legendary PRIDE Fighting Championships promotion. He is nearly even in his career as a professional mixed martial artist as he currently sits at 13-12, barely keeping his head above water. Baroni returned to the UFC for the first time since 2005 in November of 2009 at UFC 106, where he took on Amir Sadollah in the welterweight division. Baroni showed heart but was ultimately outclassed en route to a unanimous decision loss. He will be looking to bounce back and prove himself to still be a threat when he returns to middleweight against Tavares.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 alum Brad Tavares will be looking to improve his professional MMA record to 6-0 when he meets Baroni. Tavares came one fight short of positioning himself in the finals match; losing to Court McGee via third round rear naked choke in the semi-finals match. In his first UFC appearance, at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale this past June, Tavares defeated Seth Baczynski via unanimous decision. He will be returning to the promotion for the first time since that fight when he takes on Baroni.
UFC 125 is expected to be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada this January 1st and will likely feature a lightweight championship bout between champion Frankie Edgar and the last (and only) man to defeat him, Gray Maynard.