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PHIL BARONI: "I CAN'T SEE MYSELF LOSING TO AMIR SADOLLAH"

By Percy Crawford | October 01, 2009
PHIL BARONI:

"If Strikeforce didn't sign Fedor, I wouldn't be back in the UFC right now. Everything happens for a reason and all roads lead through the UFC. It's where I started my career and it's where I want to finish it. I definitely won't finish there by losing my next fight, so I want to go on a run. I feel like I still have some fight left in me… I'm not ready to give up now. I can't see myself losing to Amir Sadollah. It's a big difference in Amir Sadollah and Trigg's return fight against Koscheck," stated UFC welterweight Phil Baroni as he talked about his upcoming return to the Octagon against Amir Sadollah at UFC 106. Check out what he had to say!

PC: It was great to meet you at UFC 103. How did you enjoy your trip?

PB: It was good man. It was the first time my wife had been home in 10 years. Her father and mother came out to see it and we had a good time.

PC: I haven't seen you at a UFC event in awhile. How did you like the atmosphere there and is that something you're looking forward to again?

PB: The atmosphere was great man. The UFC always has great atmosphere. It was jam packed, the fans were into it and it was a big surprise, but I had a bunch of fans…I've been off the radar for a bunch of years, but I had a lot of fans. I took a lot of pictures and signed a lot of autographs. It was pretty cool. It's pretty cool to be back in the big show; just to be there watching and also just to be there with the fans.

PC: How did you end up back in the UFC? What was the process?

PB: Basically, Strikeforce tried to release me and sign me back for less money and then I got an offer from the UFC. It is what it is. If Strikeforce didn't sign Fedor, I wouldn't be back in the UFC right now. Everything happens for a reason and all roads lead through the UFC. It's where I started my career and it's where I want to finish it. I definitely won't finish there by losing my next fight, so I want to go on a run. I feel like I still have some fight left in me and that I can be a contender and that's my goal.

PC: They are throwing you in with a young talent right off the bat in Amir Sadollah. What do you think of him as a fighter and have you been following him or are you just starting to watch some tape on him?

PB: I just started looking at him a little bit now. It's not a lot out there on him; he doesn't have that many fights. He's well trained in Muay Thai and he has some Jits, but everybody has Muay Thai and Jits nowadays.

PC: You told me you were on a 2-a-day training schedule right now. How is that going for this camp?

PB: Yeah, I'm doing 2-a-days right now. It's going good except I suffered a cut over my right eye, so I haven't been sparring. To tell you the truth, the guy trains at the same gym as me and it's real uncomfortable. I train with say War Machine and the next minute, I look over and War Machine is training with him. I don't argue much, but I'm thinking about maybe cutting out and going to AKA or just bouncing. My eye is cut right now and I'm training with a mask on and I'm just training my body, but I might still go somewhere or I might just stay here. One part of me feels like screw him I was here first. Truly I was one of the first guys ever in Vegas, so I don't know, but it's a funny situation right now for me.

PC: With the cut, will you have a sufficient amount of time to get it healed so you can begin sparring and all of your regular training?

PB: Oh yeah. I'm training hard and doing my conditioning hard and I'm hitting the mitts and doing my pad work hard. I have a mask over my face; one of those wrestling or grappling masks. I'm not really sparring right now, but I think I will be able to get in 3 to 4 sparring sessions a week once I start sparring and I will be ready.

PC: You used a lot of athleticism and raw power your first go around in the UFC, but it wasn't polished yet. What do you feel will be the biggest difference this time around?

PB: I think I'm more skilled, but I think I gotta bring that back. I've been trying to be too technical and too skilled and I think that's taken away from my performances. I think I just gotta be…like you said, just raw and overwhelm them, you know? I just have to be physical. I think I'm a lot more physical than this guy. I think I'm the bigger dog in this fight and I just gotta make it my fight. I just have to make it a fight and throw and land hard shots.

PC: Frank Trigg looked at his return to the UFC as his last shot, his last opportunity in the fight game. Are you taking that same approach or you're not quite there yet?

PB: I can't really look at it that way. The thought has popped into my mind, but I'm not ready to give up now. I can't see myself losing to Amir Sadollah. It's a big difference in Amir Sadollah and Trigg's return fight against Koscheck. Koscheck is a training partner of mine when I'm over at AKA and I've never trained with Amir Sadollah, but I have seen him in the gym and there is a big difference between Kos and Sadollah. I'm not as old as Frank and I want to fight. I want to fight and I have to win because I really don't want to be a journeyman. I've been a journeyman for a couple of years and it sucks. I want to be on the big show and be in meaningful fights, so it's real important for me to perform well and beat this guy out in "Bad Ass" fashion, which is by knockout.

PC: You always have exciting fights, but you also give the fans a show with your entrances. What type of entrance can we expect from the NYBA?

PB: They don't have any ramps, so it will be turned down a little bit. I will have something though, but there are no ramps anymore in the UFC. It's a different ballgame, but maybe the exits will be better this time.

PC: Good luck against Amir my man. I'm sure we will be speaking again soon. Is there anything you want to say in closing?

PB: I'm just training hard. I'm going through the motions a little, but I will be turning it up very soon. I gotta thank Affliction. Those guys have been sticking by me and helping me out, so I want to thank those guys.



[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]

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