With his fight against Brad Tavares booked for UFC 125 on 1/1/11, Phil Baroni has two options in front of him — victory, or possible banishment from the UFC. Now training out of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, The New York Badass had a lot to say.
On his gameplan for Tavares:
"I've been doing this for ten years. There's no surprises. I'm gonna do what I do best."
On his conditioning:
"It's genetic, dude. I've been training cardio for the last ten years, hard. It's genetic. You got a guy like Cain Velasquez who just don't get tired. He can just train all day. Even a guy like Koscheck."
"I don't think there's anything I'm not doing that other guys are doing. I have a lot better punching power than those guys. And I think I'm faster, I have more fast-twitch. I know I can beat them both in a race. But in a longer duration, those guys can keep going, and that's one of the things that separates us."
"It seems like a lot of the Mexican guys have real good cardio, throughout history and in the UFC. Diego Sanchez has great cardio, Cain Velasquez, a ton of guys. I don't know what it is, man, but I do the best with what I got."
On his return to middleweight:
"I had almost no muscle at 170 and I still got tired, so that obviously wasn't the answer. I feel a lot stronger [at 185]. That's how I fight — I'm an explosive, fast fighter — but if I don't have that, what do I have?"
"And I didn't have much going into that fight with Amir. I had a horrible training camp, I had a horrible performance...so I might as well go back up."
On life after MMA:
"I don't know yet. I'm too old for the Jersey Shore. We'll see, I'm not ready to give it up yet, so hopefully I'll get a couple wins in the UFC, two or three wins back to back, and change my whole life and change everyone's outlook on my career."
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