The following is Phil Baroni's guest blog post for Bloody Elbow as writes about the lead up to his ONE FC 9 bout against Japanese star from ZST, Nobutatsu Suzuki. The event happens on May 31 in Manila, Philippines. If you missed the earlier editions, you can check it here: PART 1: Scott Coker, Frank Shamrock, and Recreating that favorite week in Manila
I'm finally getting over being sick. Man, I haven't been sick in over 10 or so years but last Christmas Eve I get the flu, and last Friday I got bronchitis.
This time I took some antibiotics and I'm already back in the gym. I was able to go through a tough training session, but I was coughing all over Fitch while taking my lumps in wrestling practice. I've been training everyday since February, gradually increasing to training twice a day. You can also say maybe thrice a day on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, if you count a run as a work out. Overall my conditioning is good, except for this sickness.
My strength is good. I've dropped a lot of excess weight, and my speed is coming back. Things are all in order. Once this shit all clears out of my chest, I'll be firing on all cylinders.
I'm about a month of hard training away from D-Day.
Suzuki is, one hundred percent, going to be saying "oh what a feeling" after I blast him, and that's not just because that's what they say in those Suzuki commercials. He is going to be saying that because I'm coming guns a blazing on May 31.
Like all my Filipino fans saw on my last fight in Manila, when I'm dialed in and have the right spirit, I hurt people. Yeah that's right. When I'm on and focused with no problems, my opponents don't just lose, they get hurt, and with the ONE FC rule set, they get hurt bad.
It's time for me to really gear up and focus. This is going to be my night, in a country with fans that I really love fighting for.
I'm already getting into fight mode. My temper is getting a little bit short, and I don't care for any small talk. I'm becoming more focused at the task at hand. This is a really important fight for me, and my future has a lot riding on it. I know how it feels to be on the losing end of a big fight, and there is no worse or lonely feeling. I also remember how I felt when I won my last fight in ONE FC, and I cant tell you a time in my life that I was happier.
At this point in my career, I would rather say that life is not about the money. It's about the feeling and the experience. I'm not going to make life changing money when I separate Suzuki from consciousness, but I will find life changing happiness and take a step forward in the right direction. One step closer to a World Championship.
I believe in ONE FC and its future in Asian MMA. I believe it's going to be far bigger than PRIDE ever was, because of its commitment to growing the sport all over Asia and recruiting the continent's best talent, and because they're not just focused on one country and its fighters as PRIDE did in Japan.
There is nothing I'd like more than to be the first ONE FC Welterweight Champion. Nothing would put a bigger feather in the cap of my career at this point than winning that title.
So that means put a cough drop in my mouth, lace up the running shoes and pound the pavement, because it's time for me to get my road work in.