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UFC and PRIDE veteran Phil Baroni announces retirement after 19 years of competition

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At 45 years of age, Phil Baroni has decided to call it a career.

MMA veteran Phil Baroni is finally deciding to walk away from professional competition.
MMA veteran Phil Baroni is finally deciding to walk away from professional competition.
Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

After 19 years of active competition in mixed martial arts and bare-knuckle boxing, Phil Baroni is finally calling it a career. The 45-year-old combat sports veteran made the announcement on Twitter over the weekend.

Im retired. My career has come to a close. Thanks to my fans for the support. It was fun. Thanks for the memories. It should have been over a long time a go. Adios Amegos for Mexico

“The New York Badass” later expressed a bit of regret for not following the advice of his longtime mentor, American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez.

i should have listened to legendary coach @akajav a long time ago

Baroni began his career in 2000 and entered the UFC a year later. After a three-year run, he took his talents to the far East and signed with Japan’s PRIDE Fighting Championship, where he fought for 16 months. He then jumped around between Strikeforce and EliteXC before putting on a short-lived second stint with the UFC, in which he had two fights.

The last leg of Baroni’s career took place back in Asia under the ONE Championship banner, where he fought from 2011 to 2013. In 2018, he took a bare-knuckle boxing bout against fellow UFC veteran Chris Leben under World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF). He lost via first-round TKO.

Baroni’s last MMA fight happened in September 2019 against Sai Wang under Singapore’s Rebel Fighting Championship. He lost via first-round submission as he ended his career with a record of 16-19.