Friday, May 29, 2009

Strikeforce Spotlight Interview: Phil Baroni - "I'm focused, clear headed and ready to be the champion I was born to be"

Originally posted on

Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields comes to us on June 6, 2009 from the Scotttrade Center in St. Louis, MO and can be seen live on Showtime. This is an outstanding MMA card that is quite frankly the best non-UFC card in some time in my humble opinion. This card has star power, notable names, quality match ups and a main event which is more than worthy of being so.

When you think of everything Elite XC did wrong it is refreshing to see many of their fighters get the chance to ply their trade for a promotion which actually knows what they are doing in Strikeforce.

Fighters fight.

One of those fighters who embodies that statement is the "New York Bad Ass" Phil Baroni. Baroni who has been successfully campaigning at welterweight for some time now will get a test of sorts when he steps in to do battle against the ever dangerous and durable, Joe "Diesel" Riggs.

These two men do not care for each other, and this of course was exacerbated by Riggs' anger over not fighting Jake Shields. Riggs was to face Shields, but this was of course before Jake had the opportunity to take on Robbie Lawler at a catchweight of 182 lbs. The fight with Lawler is simply a bigger fight for Shields and one which shall bring him a much bigger payday than would have been the case had he fought Riggs. Joe Riggs took this personally and has let his frustrations become known as he has intimated that facing Baroni is a huge step down and is possibly even beneath him.

The only way he can prove this is to be victorious in his bout on June 6 and in Phil Baroni he will be facing a hungry welterweight slugger with true knockout power and possibly a big chip on his shoulder. Baroni is the type of fighter who looks to knock everyone out, but now there just might be a little something extra on each of those punches as he gets the chance to show Joe Riggs just what he can do.

One man will definitely be beneath the other after this fight, but it is likely that this will mean one is in a supine position and have nothing to do with rankings of any sort. This Riggs vs. Baroni fight is a fan's fight for sure, and certainly stands out as one of the more compelling bouts on the card.

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