At 13-13, Baroni was cut from the UFC after his first-round TKO loss to Brad Tavares at UFC 125 in January. Now, the 34-year old "New York Bad Ass" is facing possibly the biggest fight of his career when he faces Nick Nolte tonight at Titan Fighting Championship 17 in Kansas City, Kan.
"Time is of the essence. It's now or never," Baroni said Thursday on Bloody Elbow Radio. "I have to stay in shape, be ready and fight as often as possible ... I see the writing on the wall. It's really now or never ... I always said it's better to burn out than fade away, so I don't want to just fade away. I want to burn out, I want to get another run with a bunch of fights and be a contender again."
"I pretty much knew it was going to happen," Baroni said of being cut. "I had to get back on the horse, heal up, fix my boo-boos and get a fight as soon as possible. And not get out of shape."
"I'd rather be on pay-per-view right now but TV is TV and as long as the fight is being seen by eyes and especially with how I'm going to win this one, it's going to be a good one ... Being on HDNet is big for me right now. That's part of the reason I picked Titan, too. Winning a bunch of fights in an organization nobody sees isn't nearly as good. You need eyes. You need to impress people."
"I feel the best I've felt in five, six years right now. I feel great right now. I see Dan Henderson looking the best he's ever looked at 40 and it inspires me. I want to keep going. There's nothing I'd rather do. I love to train and I love to fight. I love to perform and I love everything that goes along with the sport ... I'm hoping I can do it as long as Dan Henderson and that's six years from now and that's a long time."
"At this time in my career, I want to cash in. I want to get something out of it. I've dedicated my life to the sport, I've taken some beatings in there and sacrificed my body and I just want something out of it. I don't mean money or that, and it's ... just respect. I want to prove I'm still a good fighter and I'm not like an older generation fighter, that I can mix it up with the best guys in the world, I can still compete. I just want to prove to myself, too."
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