The pressure was on Mark Dellagrotte. He needed a big night at UFC 93 to pass Phil Baroni. Baroni was working the corner of Mark Coleman. Coleman was so tired that it didn't appear he was even listening to Baroni. Good thing, it may have hurt his chances going into the second round against Mauricio Rua:
"You won that round. You're winning that fight. You hurt him bad twice. He'll be looking for a way out. It's a war and you're winning. You hurt him twice. He's really hurt, he's on wobbly legs. Just throw punches. You're a legend, it's war. You're doing awesome. It's a great (expletive) fight. Blast the straight right hand. All you need is the straight right hand. Straight right hand. Straight right hand."
Earlier in the night, Dellagrotte worked the corner of Marcus Davis. His advice combining a pep talk and technique may have been slightly more effective:
"You're winning every exchange. Slow your mind down right now. Everything is working. Just stay a little more busy. Everything is working great right now. You got a lot of power. You're much faster than him. He's already showing signs of wear. I want you to clear your mind right now and go back to the gameplan. We're in the gym, we're in the gym right now. Everything's working great. You're throwing kicks but nothing's coming after that. Follow with the 3-2. I want you to blitz a little bit more. Come up the middle with that lead uppercut and follow it with the straight left."
Baroni didn't see anything with Coleman worth commenting after the second round so it was more of the same for his tired, beaten fighter. Remember that Coleman closed the round lying face-first on the mat for 78 seconds stuck in a Rua omoplata:
"Coleman you're a legend. You're gonna win this fight. You are a legend. He's dead tired, he couldn't even do it. He's gonna go with two right hands in a row. Just throw rights hands. He's standing there dead tired. It's an unbelievable fight bro. It's a great (expletive) fight. You're gonna (expletive) win dude."
Baroni is a tough guy but he shouldn't be the lead man in anyone's corner. The sport has evolved too much. Just like boxing there is a science to these MMA fights. The corner needs to help its fighter navigate his way through the chess match. Next time bring in Lou Duva, the No. 1 guy on the Italian trainer list. The 88-year-old knows the fight game and he's not afraid to take a punch for his fighter.
- Phil Baroni
- Mauricio Rua