Phil Baroni is one of those MMA veterans that has probably seen a lot more than your typical fighter; 13 years and fighting all over the world will provide that.
During his career run, the fighter commonly known by MMA folks as “The New York Bad Ass” has dealt with the bad end of the business of fighting in mixed martial arts: relatively low pay, injuries, all that stuff. But in the latter stages of his career, Baroni came across something that he's rarely seen since he started fighting: care.
On this Thanksgiving Day, in a time where fighters air complaints about the treatment from MMA promoters, Baroni wrote a letter expressing how grateful he for the people over at One FC.
Read the letter below:
It seems like everybody complains about the MMA promotion they fight for nowadays. It doesn't always concern money; sometimes it's just that the fighters don't feel that they are appreciated or their careers are in safe hands.
I wanted to talk a little bit about an organization that is really making an effort to take care of its fighters, and, in my case, went far and above what was required.
I'm a ONE FC fighter and earlier this year, I suffered a dislocated ankle and broken leg during my fight. I was taken to the hospital, given the choice of having surgery in the Philippines or coming back to the states. ONE FC insisted that I stay a couple extra days, in country, until I felt like traveling, then I was flown home- business class! After returning, we learned the ONE FC insurance policy given to fighters was not enough to cover all costs of the surgery. I thought I was screwed, but ONE FC officials assured me it would all be taken care of… that they would pay the rest of the cost of medical care, which they did.
I have fought within many organizations in my career, but have never been treated better or felt more secure than with ONE FC; they make me feel at home. Fighters receive a lot of attention and we are constantly asked if there is anything we need. I actually feel like an important part of the show, not just another body being thrown in the cage.
I wanted to thank ONE FC for all of its support and its sincere interest in my recovery. I admit I was surprised when the promoter called to check up on me several times. I'm healing up quickly, and hope to get the chance to continue fighting for ONE FC.
Regardless of my future in the organization, I want to thank Victor Cui and Matt Hume for all of their help. Hope to see you soon.
By the way, I have been cleared to run and train again, so I'll be back in a cage somewhere very soon!
Grateful, I remain,
THE NYBA, Phil Baroni