Despite rumors concerning the eligibility of both “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni and Murilo “Ninja” Rua to compete on Friday’s “Shamrock vs. Baroni” world championship mixed martial arts fight card, it was confirmed, two days beforehand, that both will suit up and enter the cage for their respective matchups.
Former UFC middleweight champion and King Of Pancrase, Frank Shamrock, will square off Baroni, a UFC and Pride Fighting Championship veteran, for the vacant Strikeforce world middleweight (185 lb. limit) title while former Pride stars, Joey “The Dream Smasher” Villasenor and Rua will battle for the vacant EliteXC world middleweight (185 lb. limit) crown.
“He’s done a lot of talking and, now, I think he’s wrote some checks that I don’t think his ass will be able to cash”
“This ain’t a joke. This ain’t about fighting in my hometown and fighting hand-picked opponents.”
Speaking To Shamrock: “You can laugh and smile with that stupid looking face all you want, but when they shut the fuckin’ cage door, it’s not gonna be a fuckin’ joke. So, keep smiling. Keep smiling. You’re not gonna be smiling when I separate you from consciousness.”
“This is a big opportunity. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in my career and my life, but so has everybody. I just don’t cry about it like this guy.”
On being granted a license by the California Athletic Commission after additional medical exams: “People say I should be thankful. What the fuck am I thanking them for? They’re puttin’ me in a fuckin’ cage and telling me to fight……. But, they stepped up this time and they took my back. They did the right thing….I guess I’m not that fuckin’ crazy.”
“I’m gonna fight like a rockstar…..(Speaking To Shamrock) You’re looking kind of scrawny. You should get some Gamma-O, bitch.”
“Phil, what you don’t know is you are the hand-picked opponent and that’s why you’re here. This is my town. This is my arena and this is my sport and welcome to my world, baby.”
“You think (this fight) is about you. That’s why you’re underneath the name ‘Shamrock.’ So, welcome to my show. I like your glasses. Your tan is better than me. You’re ripped more than me. You’ve got a better beard and I can’t really grow one. All I wanna see is - if you beat me, God bless you. If you don’t, we just move on from here. This is about fighting. I’ve said all I need to say. You’ve said more than you need to say.”
“All you fighters, fight your heart out. We’re an independent show, making huge waves. We’re gonna change MMA - help make it right. This is about fighting, about art.”
“Thank you very much. This fight should be the best fight of the night because of what we have on the line. We’re going to put on a great show for MMA fans.”
“I’m going to win this (fight) and dedicate this (title) belt to Gary Shaw.”
On Rua’s comments about dedication of the fight: “Then, we’re in a tough spot because I’m dedicating this win to my mom cause it’s her birthday.”
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