Josh Barnett reacts to the tragic news about former UFC fighter Phil Baroni: “It was obvious why: CTE”

By Susan Cox - January 4, 2023

Josh Barnett is reacting to the tragic news about former UFC fighter Phil Baroni.


Phil ‘New York Bad Ass’ Baroni (16-19 MMA) officially retired in August of 2021 after 19 years of active competition in mixed martial arts and bare-knuckle boxing.

Taking to ‘Twitter‘ with the news, Baroni said:

“Im retired. My career has come to a close. Thanks to my fans for the support. It was fun. Thanks for the memories. It should have been over a long time a go. Adios Amegos for Mexico”

Phil Baroni, Chuck Liddell

It was just yesterday that the news broke that Phil Baroni, 46, had been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend in Mexico.

Apparently Baroni contacted the Policía Estatal Turística informing them that his girlfriend, Paola, was unconscious in their room at the Jardín San Pancho Hotel.

Baroni was subsequently arrested and is being held in custody at the Juzgado Municipal Administrativo de Valle de Banderas.

Following the news, several fighters and fans alike have weighed in on the dire situation with Baroni.

Josh Barnett, (35-8 MMA), took the time to reflect on the tragic news of Baroni’s arrest.

Taking to ‘Twitter’ Josh Barnett said in a series of tweets:

The news about Phil Baroni is terrible and incredibly tragic as well. I’ve known Phil for 2 decades + and at the 1st JB Bloodsport show could see that his personality and behavior was erratic, displaced, and emotionally he was all over the place and it was obvious why: CTE”

CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) is a degenerative brain disease found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma.

Barnett continued on ‘Twitter’ with the following tweets:

“It was so tough dealing with him at the show that I couldn’t keep booking him even though I wanted to. He was too much to handle and so scattered. He blew up at me because I hadn’t used him again and I blocked him on social media but there wasn’t much I could do.”

“Fighters, need to take of themselves and those around them need to be vigilant and watchful as well. I’ve seen the decline from the man I have been friends with for so long to where he was last I saw him and it’s heartbreaking. Now with what has happened in MX it’s just so awful.”

“Oh, just in case for the absolute midwit, moron reply guys who have zero reading comprehension – no, this is not excusing nor defending. I have not and am not making those points. It is simply some personal opinion and context. If you want to be stupid, go do it somewhere else.”

Symptoms of CTE can include changes in mood and behaviour, cognitive problems, and sleep disorders.

It is an understatement to say that if in fact Baroni was dealing with CTE, he was perhaps not getting the help he needed. There are many therapies available to treat the systems associated with the disease CTE.

What do you think of Josh Barnett’s comments about Phil Baroni?

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