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Phil Baroni could face longer prison sentence because of ‘pro fighter skills’ if found guilty of aggravated femicide

Former UFC fighter Phil Baroni is accused of murdering a woman in Mexico.

Phil Baroni at a celebrity poker tournament in 2015.
Phil Baroni at a celebrity poker tournament in 2015.
Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Former UFC and Pride fighter Phil Baroni was arrested on suspicion of murdering a woman in Nayarit, Mexico earlier this month. He is currently facing a charge of aggravated femicide.

ESPN Deportes’ Carlos Contreras Legaspi has revealed that Baroni’s MMA experience may lead to a longer sentence if he is found guilty.

“State of Nayarit’s General Prosecturo tells me that the “aggravated femicide” sentence can go from 50 to 75 years because it’s evident [Baroni] used his ‘pro fighter skills’ to cause injury on the victim,” wrote Contreras Legaspi.

Conteras Legaspi also reported that Baroni has secured a private attorney and that his version of the events are that he shoved the woman into a bathtub and that this caused fatal injuries. Prosecutors have stated that the victim showed signs of violence from “head to toe”.

Additionally, Conteras Legaspi reported that the victim’s sister claims to have observed prior injuries on the woman, allegedly by caused by Baroni. The sister said she told the victim to notify authorities, but she was afraid of Baroni’s ‘violent temper’.

Baroni is currently imprisoned at the Venustiano Carranza State Jail. There is a chance he will be moved to the El Rincon Federal Prison.

Femicide, the act of murdering women because they are woman, was added to Mexico’s federal criminal code in 2010. That came after a twenty year rise in sexual violence, torture, abductions and murders against women (per AP News).

There are around 1,000 femicides a year in Mexico. That means that, on average, 10 women or girls are killed per day in the country because of their sex.

Despite Mexico adding tougher sentences for those convicted of femicide, and various states opening offices dedicated to combating gender violence, the femicide rate has continued to rise. In 2021 there were twice as many femicides in Mexico as there were in 2015.

About the author: Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. (full bio)

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