by MMAWeekly Radio & Jeff Cain
‘The New York Bad Ass’ Phil Baroni unexpectedly called MMAWeekly SoundOff Radio Monday and gave an impromptu interview. Baroni discussed his loss to Ikuhisa ‘The Punk’ Minowa in the first round of the Pride Bushido welterweight tournament last month, questioned the lack of yellow cards in the bout, and gave an indication of when we may see him fighting again.
Phil Baroni had strung together three impressive victories going into the Pride Bushido tournament. He had defeated Minowa just four months earlier by knockout. Talking about the rematch, Phil said, “It was disgusting. It wasn’t really much of a fight. It was horrible. I fell into the hype. I really thought this guy was a warrior, or bushido, or whatever the hell you want to call it. I thought he was going to stand there and bang. That’s what he said he was going to do. That’s what I was ready to do. That’s what I had my mind set up for. I basically a little bit looked past the guy. I was looking toward Bustamante.”
Baroni never expected Minowa to basically try to hold him down the entire fight. Even after the first round Phil thought Minowa would come out in the second and exchange strikes more like the way their first bout unfolded. It wasn’t the case. Baroni said, “I thought OK, second round. He’s standing in his corner and he’s going to come out and throw down, but I was wrong. He got the W, but that was horrible. I wouldn’t really consider it a W. I mean I really wouldn’t.”
“Where were the yellow cards?” Phil asked. Some may say that’s just Phil making excuses, but it’s a legitimate question. Where were the yellow cards? We’ve seen Pride referees throw yellow cards for the slightest delay in action in the past. There seems to be no consistency in the use of yellow cards, or a clear cut criteria for when they’ll be used.
The best explanation of when and why yellow cards are thrown comes from Pride’s official website, www.PrideFC.com. In their rules section it states, “In BUSHIDO, red cards are used in the same way that yellow cards are used in PRIDE FC. In BUSHIDO, if fighters commit the following actions, they shall be given a red card by officials: Stalling or failure to initiate any offensive attack, making no attempt to finalize the match or damage the opponent, and holding the opponent’s body with the arms and legs to produce a stalemate. A red card results in a 10% deduction/fine of the fighter’s fight purse. A major difference in the penalty card system between PRIDE FC and BUSHIDO is that in PRIDE FC a total of three yellow cards results in a disqualification, while in BUSHIDO red cards can be given out in an unlimited number without disqualification.”
So why wasn’t Minowa given any yellow/red cards? The best answer I could come up with was to quote Winston Churchill’s 1939 comments about Russia and paraphrased by Joe Pesci in the movie ‘JFK.’ “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”
With the loss in the tournament behind him, Phil Baroni looks to the future. Phil has “something in the works,” but wasn’t able to disclose with what organization or name the possible opponent. Baroni did say, “It might be November.” There is a Bushido show in November, but could we see ‘The New York Bad Ass’ back in the UFC? Phil didn’t answer that question, but he did say, “They need a little controversy in the UFC. It’s a little boring right now. Everybody is yes sir, yes ma’am. Dana White can I do this? Mr. Dana White can I do that? I do what the f#%k I want to do when I want to do it.”