Phil Baroni

Shaw Interested in Bringing Ortiz to EliteXC

Photo courtesy of

With his days as a featured fighter with the Ultimate Fighting Championship coming to an end, Tito Ortiz, the one-time face of the organization, has mentioned that he’d like to take his services elsewhere following his upcoming fight against Lyoto Machida on May 24th.

One of the organizations in which Ortiz has expressed interest in Elite Xtreme Combat, headed by former boxing promoter Gary Shaw. Brash and out-spoken, Shaw is no stranger to giving his opinion when asked by the media and didn’t shy away earlier today when the potential of Ortiz shifting his career to EliteXC was brought up.

“In all my years in the fight game, I can see, touch, feel a superstar,” Shaw said this afternoon on a conference call promoting EliteXC’s network television debut on CBS later this month. “Everytime I see Tito Ortiz, he reeks of stardom. I think when his days in the UFC are over, that I can reincarnate him. Could you imagine Tito and Kimbo Slice in the cage together? I hope when his contract with the UFC is up that he will not be sitting across the table with me, but sitting with me at that table.”

“Please tell Tito that our door is wide open for him,” Shaw continued. “When his deal with the UFC is up, I’d love to talk with him and figure things out.”

Ortiz’s falling out with the UFC stems from his rocky relationship with the promotion’s figurehead, Dana White. The two have been at each other’s throats for years but things took a major turn for the worst after a proposed exhibition boxing match between the two fell apart and White opted to begin his verbal bashing of Ortiz in the media.

Ortiz has since stated multiple times that his fight against Machida will be his last with the UFC. (His current contract with the promotion ends this summer) Reasons for his departure circulate solely around White and his negative treatment of Ortiz as well as other contracted fighters on the organization’s roster.

Shaw mentioned that Ortiz wouldn’t have to worry about any kind of lack of respect from himself or others in the organization if he decided to sign with EliteXC.

“All of our fighters can attest to this, but we here at EliteXC put the fighters first,” Shaw said. “Our fighters are of the utmost importance to us. They come before the organization. The spotlight should be put on them. We treat everyone with respect and like they are a champion, regardless of who they are. Tito wouldn’t have to worry about that sort of thing if he decided to take his services to our camp.”

Additional conference call notes from today are after the jump.

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Villasenor Replaces Rua on “Saturday Night Fights”

Joey Villasenor and Riki Fukuda exchange punches at EliteXC: Uprising. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.

Joey Villasenor, fresh off of a knockout of UFC veteran Ryan Jensen at last month’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” show, will replace former EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo Rua against Phil Baroni at EliteXC’s first prime-time show on CBS on May 31st.

EliteXC parent company ProElite announced the news on their official website late last night. No reason as to why Rua was replaced in the bout was given.

Since being knocked out by a flying knee courtesy of Robbie Lawler at PRIDE 32, Villasenor has gone on to win two out of his last three fights besides his victory over Jensen a few weeks back. A TKO loss to Rua at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs Baroni was sandwiched in between wins over David Loiseau and Riki Fukuda at separate EliteXC events last year.

Rua has not fought since submitting Xavier Foupa-Pokam at a Cage Rage event this past December. The Chute Boxe product lost his EliteXC middleweight belt after being stopped with strikes at the hands of current champion Robbie Lawler at EliteXC: Uprising in September 2007.

Heavyweight sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson is slated to headline the event against PRIDE veteran James Thompson. EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler will also put his belt on the line against Scott Smith in a bout that will likely be a sure-fire war on the feet.

EliteXC May 31st Tickets Go on Sale

Tickets for the upcoming EliteXC show on May 31st go on sale to the public on Friday, April 18th at 10am through Ticketmaster.  MMA on Tap has learned that a pre-sale of tickets started Wednesday morning.  The pre-sale can also be purchased through the Ticketmaster website.  The code is “Kimbo” for access to the pre-sale.

This EliteXC show will be broadcast live on CBS-TV, the first live MMA event on broadcast television in the United States.  The main event features internet fighting sensation Kimbo Slice against Pride veteran James Thompson.  EliteXC and CBS today confirmed the main card fights scheduled to be broadcast.

    * Kimbo Slice vs. James “Colossus” Thompson (Heavyweights)

    * “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler vs. Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith (for EliteXC Middleweight title)

    * Gina “Conviction” Carano vs. Kaitlin Young (140 lb. weight class)

    * Phil Baroni vs. Murilo “Ninja” Rua (Middleweights)

    * Brett “The Grim” Rogers vs. Jon Murphy (Heavyweights) 

Report: EliteXC Signs Baroni-Ninja for May

Photo by Jon Swenson, Sharkspage.

Phil Baroni will attempt to do Long Island proud and bounce back from a recent loss to Kala Kolohe Hose when he takes on former Elite Xtreme Combat middleweight title holder Murilo “Ninja” Rua on the organization’s first prime-time televised show on CBS.

The news comes from Sam Caplan, who confirmed the bout as being signed with ProElite officials earlier today.

Hose captured the vacant ICON Sport middleweight title with a fifth round stoppage of Baroni on March 15th. The fight was Baroni’s first since he tested positive for steroids under the watch of the California State Athletic Commission last year and his second loss in as many bouts.

While an appeal of his suspension was shot down by the commission, Baroni’s suspension was eventually reduced to six months. To this day, Baroni maintains that he did not take steroids.

Rua has not fought since submitting Xavier Foupa-Pokam at a Cage Rage event this past December. The Chute Boxe product lost his EliteXC middleweight belt after being stopped with strikes at the hands of current champion Robbie Lawler at EliteXC: Uprising in September 2007.

“EliteXC and CBS Saturday Night Fights” will take place on May 31st and will take place at the brand new Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the same venue that hosted UFC 78: Validation last year.

Heavyweight sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson is slated to headline the event against an opponent yet to be named. Lawler will also put his belt on the line against Scott Smith in a bout that will likely be a sure-fire war on the feet.

Hose Outlasts Baroni; Captures ICON Title

Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.

Hometown favorite Kala Kolohe Hose captured the vacant ICON Sport middleweight title with a fifth round stoppage of UFC and PRIDE veteran Phil Baroni in what turned out to be an exhausting war for both fighters and those in attendance inside the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii.

Going against his traditional style, Baroni immediately shot in for a takedown to start the fight. Swiftly transitioning back and forth between half-guard and side control, Baroni easily controlled Hose and landed strikes from the top position while his opponent squirmed around, looking for some way to get the fight back up to the feet.

As the round progressed, Baroni visibly began to lose steam, allowing Hose to mount a small attack from the bottom and at least give the judges something to think about during the break.

Baroni scored another takedown at the start of the second round but found himself trying to fight off a kimura midway through. Baroni eventually let Hose stand up and the two exchanged on the feet for the first time in the fight. Baroni tried for another takedown moments later but Hose was able to stuff it and wound up on top. Hose pounded on Baroni but his attack was halted after being warned for an illegal punch to the back of Baroni’s head moments before the round ended.

“Coming into the fight, I knew Baroni had been working on his wrestling a lot,” Hose said after the fight. “When I would grapple in the gym, we would constantly work on my back, different submissions and standing back up.”

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Phil Baroni: Back From Hell

Photo courtesy of Phil Baroni/EliteXC.

The title of ICON Sport’s latest event tomorrow night couldn’t be more fitting. “To Hell and Back”. It takes on a great amount of meaning for Phil Baroni, who is attempting to piece his career back together after testing positive for steroids under the watch of the California State Athletic Commission last year.

To this day, Baroni maintains that he did not take steroids.

“It still bothers me to this day,” Baroni said during a recent interview session. “It doesn’t matter though anymore because the damage is done. Who knows what’s going to happen in the future when I go to fight in other places. Will New Jersey even take me or are they just going to toss me aside because I’m a guy who failed a test for steroids?”

“I’m frustrated. I can’t wait to get in there and fight,” Baroni continued. “My career literally stopped in it’s tracks. Now I want to get it going again.”

With the past behind him, Baroni now has his attention focused on his latest opponent, hard-hitting middleweight convert Kala Kolohe Hose, who has experienced his own fair share of frustration after previous chances at the now vacant ICON Sport middleweight title were spoiled by former champion Robbie Lawler’s continual injury problems.

With Hose, Baroni receives an opponent that will likely play right into what he usually loves to do in fights - stand and slug it out. That’s exactly what “The New York Bad Ass” intends to do.

“I’m going in and I’m knocking the kid out, it’s that simple,” Baroni said. “There’s really not that much to say. He’s not the brightest crayon in the box. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. He acts like a wise ass, probably because he’s been hanging out with Frank Shamrock these days. I hope he’s content with the new tricks that he’s learned. I’m still going to put him to sleep.”

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ProElite to Stream Baroni-Hose for Free on Sat

Photo by Jon Swenson, Sharkspage.

ProElite, the parent company of ICON Sport, has announced that it will be streaming the upcoming ICON Sport middleweight title bout between Phil Baroni and Kala Kolohe Hose for free on it’s official website this Saturday night.

The event will be available to members of The televised portion of the card will begin at 10 PM ET. You can visit the event’s official site here.

ICON Sport officials vacated the title from the waist of current EliteXC champion Robbie Lawler after the Miletich Fighting Systems product was forced to pull out of two consecutive title defenses against Hose due to injury. Lawler has since announced his intention of competing for the belt again in the near future.

Baroni is coming off of a six-month suspension stemming from a positive steroids test under the watch of the California State Athletic Commission. Baroni has not fought since being submitted by Frank Shamrock at a EliteXC and Strikeforce promoted show last June. He signed a multi-year deal with ProElite last month.

In between his canceled fights with Lawler, Hose knocked out Full Force Productions veteran Frederic Belleton at a ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series event in January.

Let’s Play Catch-Up

A wealth of news and events have developed over the four days that we were sidelined due to those damn server gremlins. Here’s a little recap of everything that has gone on since then. The majority of the news is displayed after the jump.

Frye-Taktarov Booked for YAMMA Pit Fighting

Longtime mixed martial arts veterans Don Frye and Oleg Taktarov will headline the main event at YAMMA Pit Fighting’s inaugural show, which is slated to take place at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ on April 11th.

Frye revealed the news during his weekly appearance on TAGG Radio.

“I hope (YAMMA) made the announcement because I just signed to fight Oleg Taktarov,” Frye said.

Quote courtesy of MMA Junkie.

EliteXC Reveals Complete Card for “Street Certified”

Elite Xtreme Combat has announced the complete card for their upcoming “Street Certified” event, which will take place this Saturday night at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center. The event will be airing on Showtime.

The full card is below:

Main Card:

Tank Abbott vs. Kimbo Slice
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Antonio Silva
Kyle Noke vs. Scott Smith
Yves Edwards vs. Edson Berto
Brett Roges vs. James Thompson

Preliminary Fights:

Rafael Feijao vs. John Doyle
Jon Kirk vs. Yosmany Cabezas
Dave Herman vs. Mario Rinaldi
Eric Bradley vs. Mikey Gomez
Mike Berhard vs. Lorenzo Borgameo

Continue reading "Let’s Play Catch-Up"

Baroni Fighting Kikuta After All?

Phil Baroni walks to the cage at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs Baroni in June 2007. Photo by Jon Swenson.

World Victory Road announced last week that Phil Baroni would be taking on Sanae Kikuta at the promotion’s inaugural event, “Sengoku”, on March 5th.

Then came the news from Ken Pavia, Baroni’s agent, that the fight against Kikuta wasn’t signed and that Baroni still didn’t decide if he will even accept the fight.

Well now it appears that the fight might be a go after all, at least according to MMA Weekly.

They’ve confirmed through the American Kickboxing Academy that the fight is indeed signed and Baroni will be making the trip to Japan.

According to Ricardo Mendoza, Ken Pavia isn’t involved in the contract discussions when it comes to the Kikuta fight and it’s AKA’s management team that’s doing the talking. Zach Arnold discusses whether or not Pavia has exclusive rights when it comes to Baroni’s offers.

WVR Announces Baroni-Kikuta for March

World Victory Road has announced that Phil Baroni will return to action when he takes on Sanae Kikuta at the promotion’s inaugural event on March 5th.

“Sengoku” is scheduled to take place at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan. Sports Navi has a piece on the announcement.

Fresh off of a fight to save face due to the California State Athletic Commission’s announcement that Baroni had tested positive for steroids, Baroni will compete for the first time since being submitted by Frank Shamrock in their super-fight in June of last year.

Kikuta is a true veteran of the sport; his first fight took place all the way back in 1996. Since 2004, Kikuta has only fought four times but was victorious in all of those bouts. He owns wins over Ikuhisa Minowa, Eugene Jackson, and Elvis Sinosic throughout his career.

Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for the find.

Update 1/12 2:00 PM: Sherdog is reporting through Baroni’s agent, Ken Pavia, that the fight against Kikuta has not yet been signed and that Baroni still hasn’t decided if he will even accept the fight.

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