The bout with Suzuki will mark Baroni’s 3rd with the asian based promotion. Phil’s first fight came at ONE FC’s inaugural show against Yoshiyuki Yoshida, who more or less held onto Baroni for the duration of the fight, earning a lack luster decision win.
Phil bounced back in a big way in his second bout with the promotion, knocking out Rodrigo Ribiero with some vicious punches and soccer kicks, less than a minute into the opening round.
At stake in this bout is a possible welterweight title shot, and after unsuccessfully challenging for belts in both the Strikeforce and Icon promotions, winning a championship with a major global player like ONE FC would be the perfect way for Baroni to end his career.
Here is what the “New York Bad Ass” had to say during an interview with Chris Taylor of bjpenn.com:
You will be facing Nobutatsu Suzuki at ONE FC: Rise to Power, what do you know about your opponent and what will it take to emerge victorious on May 31st?
I know he likes to strike and I know that if he decides to trade with me.. he will be seperated from consciousness!
How has your camp been in preparation for this fight? Did you do all your training over at AKA as per usual?
I am having a great camp! We are all training hard over here at AKA (American Kickboxing Academy). Me, Jon Fitch and Gray Maynard all have big fights coming up, so it’s been really good.
Both you and Suzuki are known for possessing big knockout power as well as a willingness to stand and bang. Is it fair to say that fans should expect a stand-up war?
It won’t be a war.. If he decides to stand with me, it will be more like an execution!
How do you see this fight with Suzuki ending?
It ends with Suzuki needing 2 things.. Smelling salts and help leaving the ring.
Fans last saw you in action at Dream 18, where you ended up losing a controversial decision to Hayato Sakurai. What did you take away from that fight?
First, don’t try and fight for a decision win in Japan, always go for the KO. And second, don’t fight while hurt or sick.
Prior to your bout with Sakurai, you fought in Manila at ONE FC: Pride of a Nation. You made quick work of your opponent Rodrigo Ribeiro that night, earning a first round KO. How satisfying was that win, especially considering the venue and large crowd you performed in front of?
It was great! I rank it up there as one of my best victories. It meant a lot. It was a huge win for me and it felt really good. So ya, that has to be up there with my all time best wins.
Do you feel that the rules used in ONE FC are better suited to your fight style?
Yeah, they’re New York rules. I grew up fighting under these rules. Pretty much no rules and the last man standing is the winner. It’s a f***ing fight man and that’s what I got in this sport to do!
You have made it clear that you would like an opportunity to fight for the ONE FC welterweight title. Do you feel that a win at the end of the month will result in a shot at ONE FC gold?
F**k, it’s not up to me. But I am training really hard and I’m going to smash this busta! I’m going to beat him so bad and look so good doing it that it will be hard for them to give anyone else the shot over me.
Any last words from NYBA for your fans, sponsors or future opponent?
Thanks to everyone for the f***ing support! Be sure to check this fight out and you will see a vintage NYBA KO! Word to your motha haha.
ONE FC: Rise to Power takes place May 31st from the MOA Arena in Manila, Philippines. The prelims, which will be streamed live on the internet and available to watch at no charge, will be followed by the main card (featuring Phil Baroni) airing live on Star Sports and pay-per-view (PPV).
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