By: Chris Taylor
The next ONE FC event “Pride of a Nation” is set for August 31st from the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Manila. The card is not yet finalized but already has a mass of big name fighters and former champions. Some of the notable names already slated to fight on the card include: Andrei Arlovski, Jens Pulver, Shinya Aoki, Phil Baroni, Soa Palelei, Bibiano Fernandes, Rolles Gracie and Eric Kelly.
Phil Baroni (14-15 in MMA) will be in action against Rodrigo Ribeiro (9-8 in MMA), the “New York Bad Ass” had the following to say about his upcoming opponent and the opportunity to fight at ONE FC in Manila:
Chris: What do you know about your opponent Rodrigo Ribeiro?
Phil: I sparred light with him a little bit at Evolve MMA. I know on paper he has good jits. I know he has a great camp at Evolve and a tremendous head coach in Chatri. So they must have saw something they felt they could take advantage of over there. But this isn’t my first rodeo, I don’t go hard or show what I got my first time in a strange gym with people filming and watching, so I have no worries. I also know he has a poney tail and because of that I’m kicking his ass. No way I’m letting a pony boy get the better of me. I really liked the entire team at Evolve when I was there training. Everyone except this cat to be honest. I’m sure he chose or wanted the match up. I think he or his handlers made a pretty big mistake!
Chris: Will you be training out of AKA for the fight and will you be doing anything different in your preparation for this fight?
Phil: I’m training at AKA. Javiar Mendez and Crazy Bob Cook are working with me a lot right now. I must have shown them something, or maybe my wife is paying them under the table, but we are working on some stuff. They entirely changed up how my camp will be run. They just took over! Said I can’t train myself, and that I shouldn’t be losing to the guys I have been lately. I have looked real good in the gym against pretty much the best guys in the world, with out naming names. Lets just say August 31st I will be ready, and pony boys getting his face rearranged! And I mean that in the most respectful way possible. Personally I didn’t want to fight anyone from Evolve MMA as I respect Chatri a lot and the success he has had with his entire team and program at Evolve. The camp is relatively young, and he has managed to recruit and put together a tremendous team in just a few years time. I also saw the opportunity he is giving a lot of these guys not only to be successful fighters but change their lives for the better. I seriously wanted to join the team at one point. I wanted to get away and completely dedicate my life to fighting 100%. But shit didn’t work out that way. Oh well, if you can’t join them.. Might as well beat their ass! Number 1 on my interglacial hit list is Ribeiro.
Chris: How do you feel about fighting in the same arena where Ali fought Frazier in Manila?
Phil: I’m honored, this is a big fight for me, 17,000 in the same arena where Ali fought Frazier! September 31st it’s the thrilla in Manila baby! So fresh and so clean the KID is laying an ass whooping on Pony Boy in front of a sell out crowd and 60 million on ESPN Asia!
Chris: It should be a very memorable event. Best of luck to you Phil! Any last words from the “New York Bad Ass”?
Phil: I just want to let my fans know I appreciate the support and yeah we have had a bit of a rough go as of late. But the KID is feeling good. Looking really sharp in the gym and gonna go on a title run in ONE FC. So don’t worry… Its all good baby, Baby. And tell those fine ass Filipino girls they can find me at Ole Laursons gym in Boracai if they want an autograph or something along those lines. After I smash this cat I will be hanging out in Boracai working on my tan and muay thai. If your in the area come check me out. Flights are cheap in SE Asia.