Phil Baroni kicks himself for continuing to fight each time he enters another training camp.
But, that has yet to stop the 35-year-old from continuing, just as he did recently after he signed a contract to fight Yoshiyuki Yoshida on September 3 at ONE Fighting Championship: Champion vs. Champion in Kallang, Singapore.
“Every time I start camp and I’m out of shape, I think I’m done,” said Baroni, who is 14-13 in his career. “I want to get the hell out of there. Once I start getting in shape and my body starts feeling good, I want to do it as long as I can. When you see guys like (Dan) Henderson – it’s motivating to see guys at 40 looking as good as he looks.”
Baroni rebounded from three straight losses – including two in the UFC – to defeat Nick Nolte at Titan FC 17 in March.
“Going into that fight, I was a little beat up,” Baroni said. “The fight was rough. I had some broken ribs, and I just had to get through that fight. It wasn’t so much a great win. It was a relief to get a W. I didn’t win that fight with an exclamation point. It wasn’t a good fight. No one said, ‘Let’s sign this guy up.'”
The Nolte fight kept Baroni from retiring, and now he will head overseas once again. Previously, he has fought in the United Kingdom and Japan.
ONE FC uses unified MMA and Pride rules, something that helps Baroni.
“I’m a road warrior – I’m excited to go overseas and fight,” Baroni said. “There’s a big diff between Singapore and Japan, but I wanted to fight in the show. I’m in no man’s land right now (in my career). Pride rules…knees on the ground…(no holds barred) – I think it’s good. It’s my style.”
Yoshida (12-6) went 2-4 during a stretch of his career in the UFC and Bellator, including a win over War Machine and a loss to Josh Koscheck.
“He’s going to come to fight and try to prove everyone wrong,” Baroni said of his opponent, “and that’s going to be his demise – I’m going to knock him out.”
Baroni also fought in the UFC between 2001-05, going 2-5, including four straight losses – two of which came to the late Evan Tanner.