Michael Bisping and Anthony Smith Discuss Brain Damage In Relation To Phil Baroni

Phil Baroni's Recent Arrest Related To Murder Has Led To Michael Bisping and Anthony Smith Discussing Brain Damage.

Michael Bisping
Anthony Smith (Left), Michael Bisping (Middle), and Phil Baroni (Images via Instagram @MikeBisping and @Baroni_NYBA)

Michael Bisping and Anthony Smith have opened up about brain damage while discussing the shocking arrest of Phil Baroni

Baroni, a former UFC fighter, was arrested earlier this week for allegedly murdering his girlfriend in Mexico. The 46-year-old had a reputation for sporadic behavior over the past few years, which was confirmed by his former friend Josh Barnett. During an episode of the Believe You Me podcast, Smith had this to say about the situation:

“I’m not a doctor. I’m no neurologist. I don’t know s**t about f**k, but it’s not an accident that there is some guys out there, not just in our sport, but in other sports, that have some real severe head trauma, and then over the years, they begin to change…”

‘Lionheart’ continued by sharing his CTE experience with training partners. He had this to say:

“I know a guy personally. I trained with forever… I would never say his name publicly, but he’s not the same person that he was. He took a really bad knockout and then repeated knockouts after that. He’s not the same guy… Now, I don’t even recognize him when I see him… It sounds like from the stories that Phil was right along that.”

The UFC held its first event in 1993. Nearly thirty years later, the brutal effects of fighting are starting to plague the pioneers of MMA. Baroni remains innocent until proven guilty, but his change in character, expressed by his former friends, could be a direct effect of brain damage from fighting.  

Michael Bisping responds to Anthony Smith’s CTE experience with training partners

Michael Bisping is never afraid to speak his mind. Although Anthony Smith was cautious of his CTE accusations towards Phil Baroni, Bisping responded more directly. He had this to say on the same episode of Believe You Me:

“That’s exactly what it sounds like, and what you’re talking about there, without mentioning names, you do see it. Of course you haven’t got to be a bloody scientist to correlate the two… That’s why it’s not for everyone, but it is just heartbreaking when you do start to see people that you know, that you trained with, start to change over the years…”

Bisping has sacrificed more than the average fighter. The former UFC champion was candid about his current struggles with injuries by saying:

“All jokes aside, I’m going through a lot of stuff right now. I’m in pain. My back is broken. I know I make light about it, and I joke about it, but they tried a procedure, and it didn’t work, and it’s getting worse and worse and worse… I’ve got no knees. I’ve got one eye… I’m in pain in my neck. They wanna do more surgeries on that.”

Now that MMA is mainstream, the dangers of Cagefighting tend to be underrated sometimes. Hearing Bisping and Smith discuss such a sensitive topic showed the courage of both fighters.

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