Cagewriter - Mixed Martial Arts

Phil Baroni is a different guy. The newly married New York Bad Ass is more grounded, polite and focused on the fight game. He's not prone to the outrageous trash-talking he did in the past. Marriage will do that to some guys and losing a bunch of fights is humbling as well. But if you pound away at someone's mental toughness and call them a cheater, even the "changed" Baroni will snap.

Riggs told Cage Potato that he expects Baroni to gas because he's on the juice:

“He always shows up in shape, looking shredded and puffed up, but I think he’ll be pharmaceutically enhanced, too. Just because he doesn’t test positive for steroids doesn’t mean he’s not on them right now."

Baroni, who sat 8 1/2 months during 2007 and 2008 serving a nine-month steroid suspension in California, fired back:

"He's crossing the line. Obviously, I'm not pharmaceutically enhanced. I've been fighting all over the world and tested. He can say whatever he wants, he's already making excuses."

Baroni still contends the California positive test was bogus and said an independent lab said he was clean. Riggs thinks that Baroni used in the past and still may use now:

"I don’t want to say that he’s on them for sure, because I don’t have any way of knowing that, but I do know that he’s done it in the past. I think he’s the kind of guy who relies on stuff like that because he doesn’t truly believe in himself."

Baroni thought that was a ridiculous statement:

"I believe in myself and I believe in my training. I believe in what I've done here at Couture's gym. I've changed, I'm a different fighter now. I used to be a prize fighter. I lived a bad lifestyle."

He said he's now a mixed martial artist who lives, breathes and eats the fight game. He also credits his wife with helping to change his lifestyle. Watch at the end of the video too (7:35 mark). Baroni finishes the interview, takes a shower and has more to say about Riggs.  

Baroni (13-10), on a three-fight wins streak in smaller promotion since his drop from 185 to 170, takes on Riggs (29-10) at Strikeforce in St. Louis this Saturday.

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