It’s been about a month since I took over this blog, and there’s something I finally need to get off my chest. And, just so there is no doubt, there is not even a hint of sarcasm in what I am about to say; this is 100% serious: If you ask me to come up with a list of my all-time favorite MMA fighters, the “New York Bad Ass” Phil Baroni is going to be on it every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
It all started for me the first time I saw a replay of Baroni’s fight against Dave Menne at UFC 39 in 2002. Menne was a former UFC champion, but proved no match for Baroni, who relentlessly battered him with one of the most explosive flurries ever to connect in an MMA fight. Just when you thought the scene couldn’t be any more awesome, Baroni ran to the other side of the octagon, hopped on top of the cage, and proceeded to scream at the top of his lungs that he’s the “Best Eva!”. I don’t care what anyone says, that night, at that moment, Phil Baroni truly was the best eva to grace the octagon. My friends and I instantly began referring to Baroni’s flurry as the “Baroni Storm” and we forever rooted for it to connect in his future fights.
That is why I was so excited to see the following tweet tonight:
And it was retweeted by the man himself! That is all the confirmation I need. No questions asked, this makes the Dream New Year’s Eve show must-see TV, especially when combined with all of the freak show fights and crazy pro wrestling matches that are sure to be added to the card as well. The Baroni-Sakurai match-up is sure to produce fireworks because, quite frankly, all Baroni fights produce fireworks.
The best part of the fight is sure to be the first couple minutes of the first round, or the true Baroni Storm. You see, the NYBA has a history of coming out with everything his has in the opening moments of the fight, looking for the knockout at all costs by swinging wild haymakers. Granted, the storm doesn’t always connect, but when it does? there has never been anyone “betta” at producing immediate, highlight reel beatings. If you have any doubt, just watch the Menne fight again. I know I have, all night.
I hope Japan is ready for the storm it is about to be hit with.