Reggie Warren is back with another edition of his new MiddleEasy feature: ‘11 Questions with Reggie Warren Jr.‘ this time featuring your favorite Tweeter and fighter, Phil Baroni. A lot of people said that our interview with Phil Baroni was perhaps the most depressing thing to ever be published on the site. I’ve always considered it a rare insight into the mind of a guy that has a strong obsession with taking showers. It’s important to note that Baroni’s last fight in Strikeforce, he came out wearing a bathrobe and spent the entire time yelling at a Strikeforce employee who tried to instruct the fighters to stand in front of the camera. I can’t count the ways in which Phil Baroni has elevated to ‘cult legend’ status, so instead, check out 11 Questions with Reggie Warren Jr.: Featuring Phil Baroni and be sure to follow Reggie Warren Jr. on Twitter. New York heroin treatment rehabs are also abundant with Reggie Warren.
You can also check out more interviews from Reggie Warren Jr. here. Thanks to Esther Lin for the wizard-like photography.
As you know, I’m not a big fan of northern Yankees who talk weird and act like they know everything with a cocky attitude. But I’ve always liked you and your fighting spirit. Do you have any redneck friends?Yeah I’m a fighter so a lot of my friends by default are rednecks. A lot of the pro fighters out there are rednecks and I need training partners so I have no choice to deal with and make nice with country bumpkins. I guess over the years they must have grown on me because my wife ended up being from Texas.
Everyone gives Nick Diaz credit for being one of the only fighters who goes after the body. Does this ever make you mad? If my memory serves me correctly, you were one of the first MMA fighters who really attacked the vital organs with hard punches.I go to the body like nobody else. I KO’d Kondo with a left hook to the body. I came up doing a lot of boxing and the “Brothas” are fast and hard to hit in the head so I learned to go to the body. They can’t move their body like they do their head. I always believed kill the body and the head will die.
You’ve had some amazing come from behind wins in your career…why so much heart, mane?I just want to win. Quitting has never been an option. I’ve never quit in a fight. I have never been broken. I never covered up and quit or looked for a soft spot. I’m willing to take damage. I’m not afraid to take punishment. And I always feel by not quitting—not breaking—you don’t really get beat. I’ve lost quite a few times but nobody has beaten me. Nobody has made me stick my tail between my legs. I want the guy I fought—win or lose—to think to himself, “FUCK I don’t want to ever fight that guy again.”
Who took your best punch during a fight and made you think, “Holy eggplant hero…this guy is a machine?”To be honest, nobody. I can crack and I’ve never hit somebody clean that I didn’t hurt. Nobody ever took a shot from me and walked through it
Who do you consider the hardest puncher you’ve ever fought?That’s a tough question. I’ve never fought someone where I said I better not exchange with this guy. I’ve always bet on myself and felt confident with my ability to absorb and deliver punishment. You know what? Amar Suloeve hit hard. That guy could crack. I’d have to say Amar. But you know what? Fuck that guy-cheap-shot-scumbag-Russian-motherfucker. I don’t like that guy and I’m glad I caved his head in.
Have you ever met someone who takes steroids? And if you have, where do they say is the best place to stick the needle to inject?No, I never met anybody who has taken steroids. But I know a few junkies that shoot heroin. They shoot it in any vein they can find—hand, arms, feet.
Are there any guys you never had a chance to fight in your career that you wish you could have?I wish I would have fought a couple of the champions in the UFC. There have been times when I felt as if I matched up well with some champs and wish I would’ve been able to fight them for the title. But nobody personally for any reason.
What is your proudest moment in the ring or cage?The proudest moment of my career so far was beating Minowa in the Pride Bushido Main Event. Minowa was a charismatic Japanese fighter who would fight anybody. He took on all comers—guys twice his size and tapped them out with leg locks. He beat top K1 kickboxer Stephan Leko, legendary UFC Heavyweight contender Kimo, super heavyweight pro boxer Butterbean. Minowa was a crowd favorite and a fan favorite and started taking on guys more his size to prove he was a legit contender at welterweight. So they brought me in to lose. They brought me in as the New York Muscle Hammer, a guy from America with a good body who would look like a tough legit opponent that Minowa would surely beat. I knew why they were bringing me in. They would show all my highlights of KO’ing guys and set it up as I’m the big tough UFC guy that Minowa would beat, proving he was legit. They figured I must have been washed up because I was just released by the UFC after losses. What they didn’t realize is, I lost close fights to top ranked guys in the division—Lindland and Tanner who went on to be the champion. To make a long story short, as the underdog with everything stacked against me, I fought hard for 14 minutes until I knocked him out with soccer kicks and head stomps. Against the odds, as the underdog brought in to lose against a local hero in a foreign country, I upset and knocked out Minowa. This was my proudest moment because I proved I was still a contender and a legit threat to anyone in the division. I proved I wasn’t washed up and I still could fight with the world’s best.
I saw a paintball gun trip you went on and you kind of pissed me off the way you were picking on that chubby kid who called you fat. If I were that kid’s dad, I would hunt you down and possibly shoot you (assuming that he couldn’t beat you up in a fight). Do you think that kid deserved the treatment you gave him?I was just messing with Cody to make the video funny. His dad was there. Everyone was in on the joke. He is a tough little wrestler and I owe him and his friends another paintball game. That reminds me… I’m supposed to call his wrestling coach and do a clinic for his team.
I think you would enjoy the documentary about Spencer Fisher and Josh Neer called ‘The Man in The Arena’…those guys have heart and like to fight. Have you watched it yet?I really liked and identified with that movie. I think it was well done. As a fighter, Spencer is easy for me to relate to. I have always been a fan of Spencer…I’ve met him a few times and he is a real good guy. I am fans of everyone featured in the documentary. I respect Neer a lot too. As a fighter who has been up and down myself, how can you not root for those guys and admire their toughness and work ethic?
It’s the year 2013, where do you see the New York Bad Ass?Fighting much more often and winning. I plan on being a contender again. I really want to fight again for ONE FC. I love everything about that show…it has a big show feel but an old school NHB aura. It inspires me. It’s like fighting in the Kumite. I feel like I’m in Blood Sport and fighting all these crazy fighters from around the world with their own exotic styles. I really am motivated to fight there and climb the ladder. I want to go back over there and resurrect my career like I did in PRIDE and win the Title in ONE FC. It’s my biggest goal in fighting right now. I want to kick the shit out of some cats over there.