Phil Baroni

The Daily Recap: Grove, Riggs May Rematch in ProElite, Bustamante Hurt & More

Joe “Diesel” Riggs. Photo courtesy of Strikeforce.

The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.

— UFC veterans Kendall Grove and Joe Riggs are likely to rematch under the ProElite banner at the promotion's relaunch event on August 27 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Both fighters are coming off of recent releases from the UFC and Bellator respectively. Grove and Riggs originally fought in May 2004, with Riggs coming away the victor via first-round KO at Rumble on the Rock 5. []

— Former UFC middleweight champion Murilo Bustamante has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming farewell bout against Yuya Shirai at a Clube da Luta event in Brazil this Wednesday due to a back injury suffered in training. Bustamante will be replaced by Delson Heleno, who will take on Shirai at a 180 lbs catchweight. [Tatame]

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Baroni Gets Nolte for Titan Debut in March

Phil Baroni. Photo by Jon Swenson.

Kansas City, KS -- The Titan Fighting Championship announced today that UFC, PRIDE, and Strikeforce veteran Phil "The New York Bad Ass" Baroni will make his debut for the promotion on Friday, March 25 in Kansas City.

Baroni, 13-13, will face Bellator Fighting Championships and Strikeforce Challengers veteran Nick Nolte, 3-2, in a bout to be contested at 185 lbs. that will emanate from the historic Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas and televised live nationally on HDNet.

"The first leg of Phil's comeback tour will begin March 25 live on HDNet vs. a very game competitor in Nick Nolte. Phil is going to get an opportunity to work his way back to where he wants to be and Nick is going to get an opportunity to make himself a nationally known commodity overnight live on HDNet," said Titan Fighting CEO Joe Kelly.

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Strikeforce Continuing to Take Shots at Recently Released Fighters

Scott Coker. Photo by Esther Lin/

It seems that Scott Coker is channeling his inner Dana White.

Strikeforce’s head honcho isn’t primarily known for talking bad about anyone. It’s precisely why Coker’s San Jose-based promotion has become one of the most respected businesses in mixed martial arts. But with the UFC eager to steal away any and all above-average talent from the Strikeforce ranks, it’s been Coker who has shown more of an aggressive side in recent weeks.

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Strikeforce Releases Phil Baroni, UFC Return Likely

Phil Baroni. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Yesterday, Strikeforce officials announced that they had released PRIDE veteran Phil “The New York Bad Ass” Baroni from his contract. Baroni appeared under the Strikeforce banner twice dropping exciting bouts to Frank Shamrock and Joe Riggs.

“We wish Phil the best of luck and hope he can revive his career,” said Strikeforce Founder and CEO Scott Coker. “If he can, maybe one day, he can return and fight for us.”

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Strikeforce: Lawler vs Shields Live Results

Jake Shields def. Robbie Lawler - Submission (Guillotine choke) Round 1 2:02
Brett Rogers def. Andrei Arlovski - KO Round 1 0:22
Nick Diaz def. Scott Smith - Submission (Rear naked choke) Round 3 1:41
Joe Riggs def. Phil Baroni - Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mike Whitehead def. Kevin Randleman - Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Untelevised: (results via Sherdog)
Jesse Finney def. Josh Baumgartner - Submission (Kimura) Round 1 1:55
Mike Kyle def. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante - TKO Round 2 4:05
Booker DeRousse def. James Wade - TKO Round 1 4:06
Tyron Woodley def. Sal Woods - Submission (Anaconda choke) Round 1 4:20
Lucas Lopes def. Scott Ventimiglia - DQ (Knee to the head of downed opponent) Round 1 3:26
Pat Benson def. Dave Cochran - Submission (Armbar) Round 1 2:18

Changes Hit XMMA 7 Main Card

Jon Koppenhaver. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The Quebec-based XMMA promotion has announced a pair of changes to its upcoming “Inferno” event, which is slated to take place on February 7 at the Cepsum Center on the campus of the University of Montreal. Headliners Phil Baroni and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos have been forced off the card after suffering separate injuries during recent training sessions.

Baroni, who was set to take on rising welterweight prospect Guillaume de Lorenzi, will now be replaced by former “Ultimate Fighter” cast member Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver, who has been mentioned in the media quite frequently over the past weeks due to his release from Bellator Fighting Championships’ project with ESPN Deportes after he directed controversial comments towards newly-elected United States President Barack Obama.

Koppenhaver last competed at a Desert Rage event in November of last year, where he scored a first-round knockout of David Anderson. Following his time on “TUF”, Koppenhaver racked up a 1-1 record in the UFC before his departure, earning a third-round TKO of cast mate Jared Rollins and falling to Japanese veteran Yoshiyuki Yoshida.

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Afternoon Notes: Mir-Lesnar II News, Goulet-McCrory Proposed & More

Frank Mir. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

- A planned middleweight title fight between Anderson Silva and Thales Leites might not be the only championship bout at UFC 97. Fighters Only Magazine is quoting UFC President Dana White as saying that the heavyweight title unification rematch between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir could take place in April, which is when the UFC plans to return to Montreal, Quebec, Canada for the second time in the last two years. “Mir took little damage in his fight with Nog, and Lesnar wants to fight him soon, so April may be the time and place for that,” White said.

- Canadian welterweight Jonathan Goulet has told that he has been offered a fight against Tamdan McCrory for April’s UFC 97 event also, but will be unable to accept the bout until Thursday at the earliest due to medical clearance needed to begin training again after injuring his right knee in his recent loss to Mike Swick at the UFC’s “Fight for the Troops” event in December. McCrory is coming off a loss as well - He fell to Dustin Hazelett via submission at UFC 91. Keep in mind thought that the UFC has yet to secure a date at the Bell Centre because of the Montreal Canadiens’ pending playoff schedule.

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Fight Announcements: Baroni, Lil’ Nog & More

Phil Baroni. Photo by Greg Honda/ICON Sport.

There were a few future bouts revealed over the weekend involving some pretty interesting participants. Let’s get right to them…

— Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has revealed that he is attempting to match Phil Baroni and Duane Ludwig together for a welterweight showdown that would take place at a yet-to-be-announced event early next year in either Denver or Seattle. Baroni remains undefeated since moving to 170 lbs., winning a decision over Olaf Alfonso in his last bout. Ludwig has struggled as of late, splitting his last four bouts, albeit against much better competition. (Paul Daley, Takanori Gomi)

— Manny Gamburyan has told MMA Weekly that he has agreed to take on fellow lightweight Thiago Tavares at UFC 94 on January 31 in Las Vegas. Bout agreements have not yet been sent out, but paperwork is expected to be taken care of over the next few days. “He’s a phenomenal fighter,” Gamburyan said when asked about Tavares. “I’m really happy I’m fighting him. With a good victory, that’s going to put me on top for sure.”

— World Victory Road has officially announced that former PRIDE standout Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has signed with the organization and will go up against Moise Rimbon at Sengoku VI on November 1 in Japan. Nogueira last fought in Affliction’s debut show on July 19, stopping Edwin Dewees in the first round. Rimbon, a Europe Top Team product, submitted K-1 kickboxer Peter Graham with a rear naked choke at Sengoku IV in August.

Baroni Bests Alfonso at PFC 10

Phil Baroni. Photo by Jon Swenson. Used with permission.

Phil Baroni extended his undefeated streak in the welterweight division Friday night, winning an unanimous decision over former WEC mainstay Olaf Alfonso at Palace Fighting Championship’s “Explosive” event at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California.

Baroni overcame a tough first round in which he suffered a cut under his left eye to control Alfonso over the next two rounds. He used crisp combinations in timely takedowns to keep Alfonso off-balance and hand him his first loss of the year.

The event also featured three separate championship bouts: Bryan Travers defeated Jeremiah Metcalf via unanimous decision to claim the vacant PFC welterweight title, Shawn Klarcyk submitted Brandon Miller to retain his PFC bantamweight crown and Brian Cobb coasted to an easy decision win over David Gardner to remain the PFC’s lightweight champion.

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Trigg-Vitale Possible for Strikeforce in October

Frank Trigg. Photo by Mary Ann Owen.

Despite Strikeforce officials releasing a press release this evening advertising former UFC welterweight title challenger Frank Trigg as facing fellow veteran Falaniko Vitale on October 3rd in Denver, Trigg himself has stated that he will not commit himself to the fight until after his scheduled matchup against Makoto Takimoto at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku IV” show on August 24th in Japan.

Trigg revealed his plans to MMA Junkie. According to the part-time radio show co-host, he has not yet signed a contract to fight Vitale out of hesitation that an unforseen circumstance could prevent him from participating in the organization’s fall event.

“I plan to fight for Strikeforce on Oct. 3, but I don’t want to commit and then not be able to fight,” Trigg said. “I definitely want to fight, but I just don’t want to make that promise and then not be able to compete because of an injury or something from [next week’s] fight in Japan. I don’t even want to talk about the October fight. I have not signed a contract (with Strikeforce). I won’t even look at the contract until I get back from Japan because I want all of my focus to be on Takimoto.”

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