Phil Baroni on competing in Rebel FC 4 Grand Prix “I don’t think these guys have anything for me”

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565Phil Baroni competes for the first time since July 2014 as he faces off with Song Ke Nan in the Rebel FC welterweight tournament on October 20th. Baroni (15-18) spoke to MMAOddsBreaker on Episode 122 of The Parting Shot Podcast and discussed a variety of topics.   Competing in the Rebel FC tournament  “I heard about a tournament for a title, [that’s] a Grand Prix. I always enjoyed fighting in those. It’s twice the pay for one training camp. I was made the offer and I took it. It’s a belt, but you can shoot the belt up your ass. It’s a 125,000 to win the tournament which isn’t a bad payday for one night. I think I got double what everyone else is getting.” [laughs]   Comparing himself from the fighter in PRIDE to the fighter he is now  “I mean technically I’m a much better fighter now, my game has improved. When I was 27-years old I was stud, physically I was more capable back then. As far as my fighting IQ and my ability goes I’m a better fighter now, but I was beast back then. I hardly trained when I was kid. I train a lot harder now. It’s a lot harder to get in good shape and I compete with a lot of younger guys. I actually train harder now, before I just used to show up and fight   Working with a Sports Psychologist  “Basically she’s give motivating stuff. Some mental preparation,[visualization exercises]. When you’re older you have to take every advantage you can.”   Potential bout with Bellator/Glory middleweight Joe Schilling “Probably [won’t happen] who cares about Joe Schilling. He had his opportunity, that’s all I got to say about that guy. I have no idea what he’s trying to do. I think I think I’d go right through that guy, I don’t think it would be much of a fight.”   Matchup against Song Ke Nan  “He’s got a wise mouth and supposedly has a really good standup game.  I don’t think [he has a speed advantage]. He was saying at the press conference that basically he was excited to fight an American UFC fighter and this is what they bring over there, which is me and blah blah blah. That’s where things got heated between us; he’s a Chinese wise guy. I think I got still more than this whole tournament knows. I’ve been around a long time, been with the best camps, I’ve trained around the world. I don’t think any of these guys have anything for me.   Layoff from fighting  “I think if you put in a lot of work and train really hard and spar MMA. It’s not like it’s my first fight ever, I know how to fight. I’ve been in the gym and been around the game [for a long time] I’m training with the best guys here in Vegas. I’m really confident going into this fight.”   Being allowed to compete outside his Bellator contract  “When I signed the [Bellator] contract, it’s open. I can fight overseas but I’m only exclusive in the U.S. Yes there is [a fight left on my Bellator contract] that’s why I wanted the Joe Schilling fight, but he didn’t want the fight. He turned it down and wanted a kickboxing fight instead of a MMA fight. Do you want to meet me in a wrestling match? It makes no sense, we’re MMA fighters we use everything. I’m a MMA fighter.”   Party plans post-fight  “I’m going to Thailand a couple of weeks before the fight to get used to fighting over there in Asia. Definitely go back after I win this thing with a lot of money and party for a week. The last time I went there for 2 weeks, I stayed there two months.”   How this fight ends on October 20th  “Knockout in the first round. The whole country hates me, I’m the American guy. It’s going to be a big f**k you party on my side.”   You can follow Phil on Twitter @philbaroni and you can listen to the full audio version of this interview on Episode 122 of The Parting Shot Podcast this Sunday! 

Written by James Lynch

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