MMA veteran Phil Baroni has announced that he’s retiring from the sport at 43-years-of-age.
Baroni had returned to fighting in 2018 after a four year absence and picked up a TKO victory over Matt Lagler in the King Of The Cage promotion and then lost by first round TKO to Chris Leben in his bare-knuckle boxing debut later that year.
Then in September of this year he fought for the Rebel FC middleweight title in China, but lost to Sai Wang by submission in the first round, taking the former UFC fighters overall MMA record to 16-19.
“I’m too old to be fighting,” Baroni wrote on Instagram. “But I have the exact same body I did when I was 19, and as far as I know that’s what you fight with. I’m a black belt in everything now. I’ve done it all at the highest level from NCAA wrestling to Thai boxing in Thailand. I came to Thailand to get in shape and see what happens & nothing happened other than me get in shape and fight 3 Xs. In MMA & boxing. As the saying goes it’s not about when your done with the business, it’s about when the business is done with you. Looks like it’s time to go out of business. I gave everything I had to this sport. Gave it all I got, and it gave me everything I wanted just to take it all back away from me again. Ive had some unbelievably great moments and some heart breaking. The higest of highs and lowest of lows. I’ve met some of the best people and the absolute worst and everything in between. I’d call this game my addiction. It was basically a flip of the coin for me. The best high that lasted days or lowest low that lasted weeks if not months. Yet I couldn’t stop flipping the coin. And going all in on the outcome. @bkfc01 told me I had @therealbobbygunn for the title and I did all I could to get ready for it. But it don’t like that’s happening now. I really have lost my motivation and desire to train or fight. If I don’t get an offer somebody in any stile that brings that motivation back. I think I’m going to have to hang up the gloves and tune the page on the next chapter in my life. I always been in this game to be the best and a champion. Not to pay bills and survive. I’ve had a lot of alone time in Thailand to think. It was basically lonely. I realize the last few years of my life have been nothing but that. I new going in that it was a hit or miss. And I’d have to say at the very least I went down swinging. It was a fun yet lonely & hard ride. ESP at the end. I put all my eggs into this basket. And I can’t remember where the fuck I put the basket. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, and the taste left in my mouth makes me want to puke. Life’s not fair, oh well. Could be worse. I’d have to honestly say I gave it all I got. But coulda gave so much more.”