Like much of New York state, I am snowed in today by the giant snow storm that has been slowly dumping fluffy white stuff on the better part of the United States. Although I have an excuse not to change out of my sweatpants and to stay at home, I also had to get up very early to shovel about eighteen inches of snow off of my car and driveway. It was worth it, however, as I am now comfortably on the couch and able to avoid any of the other ill effects of the storm for the rest of the day.
Japan will not be so lucky on New Years Eve. On that fateful night, the land of the rising sun will be hit by the storm that is greater than all others, the Baroni storm. This is because Phil Baroni will be taking on Mach Sakurai at Dream 18 on that night. I have been excited about this fight since the day it was announced because there is nothing in MMA like a Baroni storm, and the mere thought of one connecting on Sakurai has me giddy in anticipation for the new year.
In connection with the impending Baroni storm, Bloody Elbow has brought Mr. Baroni on to write some guest blogs detailing his training and general mental state leading up to the fight. I really enjoy things like this because they remind me of the older days of the sport, when the fighters were more accessible and before a bunch of ham sandwich “journalists” came on the scene trying to trap fighters in “gotcha” moments to rile people up on Twitter.
These Baroni blogs have been great so far, as Phil has been brutally honest about what keeps him going in the MMA game. Along these lines, he comes clean in his third post about where he stands in the sport and his gym:
“There are lots of big fights going on at the gym and the guys are getting ready. The intensity in the room is great and the pressure is on, but I’m not a high man on the totem pole these days, and my fight brings with it a fraction of the money or prestige of the others coming up.
It is what it is. This is a business. Yeah, it’s the hurt business, but still a business. It’s the flesh trade, and things aren’t fair, nor are they supposed to be. Nobody’s making what they deserve, and the guys promoting the fights are making the lions share. It is what it is, but like I said, it’s the flesh trade and anything dealing with flesh is a dirty business.”
Seeing Baroni have such self-reflection is really cool. It’s obvious that he isn’t trying to fool himself into thinking that he’s still the best evah, and that he has a pretty good grasp on his place in his gym and sport. At the same time, he’s also not giving up and just mailing in fights for a paycheck, as he continues to train at AKA with some of the best in the world. It is really honorable to see him continuing to try to do the right things with his career and stay relevant the right way. Hopefully he will be able to put things together in a tough fight in Japan and continue to build on what would be an amazing comeback story.
P.S. If your elbow has someone else’s blood on it, why not just wipe it off? Plus, the way the elbow is pointed, you wouldn’t think this would be much of a problem unless you have some kind of reverse-gravity skin. But oh well, I guess all MMA blogs can’t be named after a cult rap figure that 99.9% of the readers probably don’t make a connection to. Plus, blood imagery seems to be > wit and cleverness every day of the week when it comes to MMA promotion.