Josh Barnett Believes Phil Baroni Suffered From CTE Before Allegedly Murdering His Girlfriend

Josh Barnett believes CTE likely played a role in Phil Baroni's alleged murder of his girlfriend at a hotel in Mexico

Phil Baroni
Courtesy of @WrestlingSheet and @MMAMania on Twitter

Former UFC and PRIDE MMA fighter Phil Baroni was arrested on New Year’s Day, allegedly murdering his girlfriend in Mexico.

The MMA community was shocked as news broke that Baroni had been charged with the murder of his girlfriend while staying in a hotel room over the weekend. It is reported that drugs and alcohol played a role in the fatal altercation, Baroni’s friend Josh Barnett believes that CTE likely played a role in the incident. 

Josh Barnett shared his perspective on the situation in multiple posts on Twitter, suggesting Baroni likely suffered from CTE, as evidenced by him when the two worked together during Barnett’s inaugural ‘Bloodsport’ event. 

“The news about Phil Baroni is terrible and incredibly tragic as well,” Barnett tweeted. “I’ve known Phil for 2 decades + and at the 1st JB Bloodsport show could see that his personality and behavior was erratic, displaced, and emotionally he was all over the place and it was obvious why: CTE.

“It was so tough dealing with him at the show that I couldn’t keep booking him even though I wanted to,” Barnett said of Baroni. “He was too much to handle and so scattered. He blew up at me because I hadn’t used him again and I blocked him on social media but there wasn’t much I could do.

“Fighters, need to take of themselves and those around them need to be vigilant and watchful as well. I’ve seen the decline from the man I have been friends with for so long to where he was last I saw him and it’s heartbreaking. Now with what has happened in MX it’s just so awful.”

Josh Barnett is Not Making Excuses For the Actions of Phil Baroni

Barnett also wanted to make it clear to his readers that he is by no means creating excuses to diminish the horrific act that Baroni is accused of. 

“Oh, just in case for the absolute midwit, moron reply guys who have zero reading comprehension – no, this is not excusing nor defending. I have not and am not making those points. It is simply some personal opinion and context. If you want to be stupid, go do it somewhere else.”

CTE, also known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a progressive brain disorder that is suspected to be caused by repeated head trauma and concussions. This condition is commonly found in former athletes who played contact sports, such as boxing and American football. Research on CTE has mainly been conducted on former athletes, according to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service website.

One of the most well-known cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in athletes is that of former professional wrestler Chris Benoit. On June 24, 2007, the highly-respected veteran with more than 2o years of experience inside the ring seemingly snapped, murdering his wife and child at their home before taking his own life. Benoit was said to have had the brain of an 80-year-old man at the time of his death.

Published on January 5, 2023 at 2:15 pm
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