The New York Bad Ass Never Say Die

The New York Bad Ass Never Say Die

The New York Bad Ass Never Say Die

by: Helen Mei @helenmeimodel

The New York Bad Ass Never Say Die: Insert a thick and heavy accent, a carefree yet outspoken attitude with a ‘never give up’ mentality and you get Phil Baroni. A talented welterweight fighter from Long Island, NY, whose MMA career could have been cut short over, and over, and over again due to multiple serious injuries. Living by the motto, “Never Say Die,” Baroni has proven time and time again that he is not going anywhere in the sport of mixed martial arts. He’s been through multiple injuries and doctors not believing in him, yet he pushed through every time, proving the doubters wrong. The motivated fighter faces Karo Parisyan tonight, as he makes his debut fight at Bellator MMA. Combat Lifestyle had the opportunity to talk to this inspirational fighter about his resilient career and what is to come in the future.

The New York Bad Ass Never Say Die

Standing at 5′ 9″, this welterweight has fought in many MMA organizations from UFC to PRIDE to ONE Fighting Championship in Asia. With impressive victories over tough opponents like the first UFC Middleweight champion, Dave Menne, to a brutal knockout against Rodrigo Ribeiro, Baroni proved to be a recognizable face all over the MMA world. When asked about his experiences with the organizations, Baroni responded. “I mean, they’re all completely different. I mean, I beat Dave Menne in the UFC. I felt like I made it, I wasn’t a bum in New York anymore. I was on TV, I was a professional athlete. I just won a couple big fights in a row. Then I had those losses, then everybody wrote me off. Everyone said I couldn’t do it. Then I went to PRIDE, Mark Coleman brought me there.”

The New York Bad Ass Never Say Die

The term “fighter” has multiple meanings when it comes to Phil Baroni. He explains to Combat Lifestyle how much he had to overcome after multiple career-ending injuries. “In 2005, I was in a 4-fight losing streak in the UFC. I was the next big thing, I was on the cover of the UFC video game, cover of Ultimate Knockout video they had out, and uh, went on a 4-fight losing streak. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t lose to four jerks. I lost to Matt (Lindland), who was best guy in the division by far. I fought UFC champion Evan Tanner.” He further elaborated. “I remember having a meeting in Dana White’s office saying, ‘we’re gonna release you and think you should retire. I remember back then I was f***ing crushed. I thought I was just getting going, I was 27 years old. That was eleven years ago, and then uh, I happen to run into Mark Coleman who got me a shot to fight at PRIDE and I revitalized my career in 2005; I won a bunch of fights.” The motto Baroni lives by is simple but with a deep meaning. “Never say die. I never quit. I was told to give up in 2005 when the doctors told me I’m too old and it’s over.” When the doctors doubted him, the resilient fighter retorted, “You don’t know what kind of man I am. You don’t know me. I’m gonna be back. I can tell he didn’t believe me.’

The New York Bad Ass Never Say Die

Coming out of his recent ankle injury against Nobutatsu Suzuki last May, Phil Baroni summarized whether his leg affected him mentally while training for his upcoming fight. “Well, I had the best surgeon possible, Dr. Watson, here in Vegas. I was living in San Jose when this happened. I wouldn’t think Vegas is known for the best surgery. You would think the best surgery would be, you know, in San Jose, but Dr. Watson’s great. He’s unbelievable.” the fighter continued, “Also, the best physical therapy is out here, Matt Smith Physical Therapy. I’ve been doing this **** for years. My first fight was UFC 30. How long I’ve been doing this for I forget. I can’t remember the years. I had both my knees done and I’m still walking six miles every other day. My ankle broke; the bone came out of my leg. They said I’d never walk without, a limb, ya know, and I’m fighting in a week.” He finished confidently. “I’m gonna be back on top and nothing’s gonna stop me.”

The New York Bad Ass Never Say Die

Currently living in Las Vegas and training at One Kick’s Gym, the fighter, originally from Long Island, NY, opened up on his thoughts about his current home. “I love the weather here. It’s so expensive in New York, and so cheap here. I’m not planning on going back unless I’m rich. I don’t like the winter there, there’s no sunlight in winter. It’s depressing.” When asked if he would like to remain in Las Vegas, Baroni said, “I think when I win the championship, Hawaii is where I want to retire. If I don’t do as good as I want to do, then I will wind up in Thailand or the Philippines. I want to end up somewhere tropical. I’m back in Vegas training, where I had the most success, now that I think about it.” He further revealed. “I’m happy to be back in Vegas and won’t go anywhere soon.” Baroni is no stranger to gyms in Las Vegas. “I trained at Couture’s gym, I coached wrestling practice on Wednesday’s at Syndicate. What else did I do? I went to Master Toddy’s a long time ago before I went to One Kick’s Gym. That’s where I had my most success in my entire career.” Baroni continued to reveal his experience with gyms outside of Las Vegas as well. “I’m a f***ing nomad. I’ve been everywhere. I’ve been to every gym you can imagine: Koscheck’s gym in Fresno, I’ve been to AKA, I’ve been everywhere.”

The New York Bad Ass Never Say Die

As for walkout songs, the fighter doesn’t have one in particular he listens to. “No, I don’t have one. I like to bring a boom box in the back. Everyone does these rituals with the ropes, then jumps on a box, u know the f***ng hi-tech stuff. I’m old school, that s*** don’t work for me. I don’t really know how to do computers and s***. Now my wife got me the thing that has all the songs in and I clip it in my pants. It’s a little *** thing you just clip on you pants and there’s a computer that has all the songs in them. When I run, some of the songs are my entrance songs, just certain songs like ****ing Rocky songs. It just comes up random.” He proceeds to describe his iPod mini with a lighthearted laugh. “That’s what it is, an iPod, but like a little *** one. A little silver one. It has like two buttons on it, I just push it.”

The New York Bad Ass Never Say Die

“The New York Bad Ass” is very cautious about what he eats before a fight. He explains his eating habits and becoming a vegan. “I’m vegan because of performance. Everything I do, especially before a fight, is for performance. Before, I was eating like 300 grams of protein and when I was hurt with my broken ankle, I couldn’t do s***. I was stuck, so I starting reading about nutrition. I said, ‘how can I really like use the time’? I was bored and watched ****ing Netflix and it ****ing sucked so I started reading. I read that I was eating so much protein I was always so acidic.” Baroni then clarified. “So for performance-wise, I decided to be a vegan, but not because I’m a ****ing hipster or something, you know what I mean? Then doing that I started watching documentaries on animals and s*** then realized how like terrible it is how they live. Like they live to die and s*** so now I only eat organic.” He reveals he has plans to drop down to 155 lbs. “I’m gonna drop down to 155 because I can make it. I wake up 168. I’m so light I eat whatever the **** I want.”

The New York Bad Ass Never Say Die

Outside of fighting, Phil Baroni enjoys spending time with his dog. “I love my dog. I spend a lot of time with that dude, especially when I’m in training camp, ya know what I mean? I’m kind of a loner, you know what I mean? When I think about it, I never realized it until Mark Coleman told me a long time ago. He said, ‘you’re a loner’ but I didn’t believe him. When I think about it, I am, ya know? I am.” He continues to explain his daily routine. “I have my dog, I go to Starbucks everyday, I uh, drink coffee. I train. I bring my dog to the gym sometimes when I go there. That’s my buddy, that’s who I hang out with.” Baroni then says confidently, “Of course I have friends, I’m not ****ing antisocial but I’m a loner, especially when I’m getting ready for a fight.” Phil Baroni explains a humorous story about his routine. “The people I always see must be thinking, ‘this guy comes in every day and eats a garden white omelet and has his ****ing dog and is probably out of his ****ing mind.’ I go to Starbucks and have this card now. I go so much I have free refills.” He always makes sure his dog is taken care of as well at Starbucks. “I get my dog a cappuccino and whip cream and they probably think I’m married to my dog.” He then pauses and laughs. “They probably think, ‘this guy is ****ing crazy’. I go in there and they know my drinks and s***.” As for Baroni expanding his family with his wife, he revealed he hopes to be a father soon. “My wife is in nursing school. Hopefully when she graduates in one year, we’ll have a kid.”

The New York Bad Ass Never Say Die

Though the odds were against him many times throughout his career injury after injury, he always believed in himself, even when many doubted him. The confident and headstrong welterweight fighter revealed his plans for his upcoming fight, “I’m gonna go in there and set the record straight. I’m gonna prove to everyone in America I’m still a force to be reckoned with. I’m a legitimate contender and will be a champion in Bellator.” He also has other goals in mind for his career. “In my contract, it says I can fight in ONE FC. I can fight overseas in Asia. I plan on going back there and winning a world title too.” After dealing with adversities caused by injuries in his career, the fighter remains positive. He has a bright future and comeback, beginning on July 25. One thing remains clear, he truly is evidence of the motto he lives by, “never say die.”

The New York Bad Ass Never Say Die
Have to admit, we kind of love, “I’m the best EVA!” lol

“The New York Bad Ass” would like to thank his sponsors: Bitcoin Brands, AKA, Havoc, Lana’s Egg Whites, One Step Closer, GFYGear.com, One Kick’s Gym, Garden of Life, SuckerPunch Entertainment, Da Hui Hawaii

Fans can follow Phil Baroni on social media.
Twitter: @philbaroni
Instagram: philbaroninhb (may change in the future)

An adventurer by profession, photographer by passion and an ICANologist through motivation. I CAN do anything I put my mind to!!

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