As the old adage goes, "Don't talk the talk if you can't walk the walk." Phil Baroni could not, in fact, walk the walk in his 30-27 unanimous decision loss to Joe "Diesel" Riggs at Strikeforce on Saturday night.
Riggs' strategy early seemed to be to outwrestle Baroni. He took him down early, and tried for a rear naked choke, but could not sink it in. Baroni managed a mount near the end of the first round, but didn't inflict much damage.
In the second, Riggs used Baroni's purported strategy of "punching him in the [expletive] face as many times as possible" to outfight Baroni. Near the end of the first round, Riggs tried a triangle choke that probably would have worked if he would have just held on. Instead, he punched Baroni on the top of the head, helping the "New York Badass" escape.
Baroni, who before the fight was saying how much his cardio had improved, was clearly exhausted. As he tried to standup with Riggs, he couldn't manage much. Riggs taunted Baroni, telling him to come at him, and then followed each taunt with a knee and cross combination.
After the fight, Riggs thanked his opponent, and said he'd be back. What will be interesting to see is if Baroni is humbled.
- Phil Baroni