When asked about his fight against Brad Tavares, Phil Baroni responded “It’s obvious that a lot of people are counting me out, the UFC included. You know, they’re giving me guys off ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ they never send me to expos, stuff like that. But I’m thankful for the opportunity to get that all back, and I’m going to start on New Year’s Day and resurrect my career. I’ve done it before; I’ll do it again. I’m going to beat a bunch of guys. I’m going to win this fight and I’m going to go on a run in the UFC, I’m giving myself four years, like a collegiate athlete. Four years, and if everything’s going great, a red-shirt year. Baroni explained how he called AKA’s Javier Mendez and said “Please man, just one last time, give me one last shot. I just feel like I didn’t have too many friends in Vegas. It’s a very transient gym environment. I didn’t feel like I had too many guys in my corner. Not that I have hard feelings there, but I actually have guys behind me and good support here.” When asked about Tavares Baroni said “I know he’s an almost 2-1 favorite, so he must be pretty tough. I think he’s a young kid and they’re the future of the sport, and I think by beating him it will be a testament to what I am today. I can still be a contender at 185 pounds. I’m not a ‘stepping-stone.’ I know these ‘Ultimate Fighter’ guys come off the show right away and try to build their name off us guys, and I don’t like that.
He’s not going to build off of me. Randy Couture has a legacy. Wanderlei Silva has a legacy. Chuck Liddell, guys like that who have been champions, they have legacies. For me, I’d say I want my piece of the pie. It used to be if I’d see someone with a Tapout t-shirt five or six years ago, they’d nod at me because they know who Phil Baroni is. Now everyone and their brother has a Tapout shirt on, and they don’t know half the fighters in the sport. It’s a different time. A lot of guys made a lot of money and got a lot of exposure off the sport I dedicated my life to. I’m not going to lie, I’m happy for those guys, but I want my piece. It’s my turn now. There’s been many times where I’ve had to win this fight or my career’s over. I’ve had my back against the wall before, but that’s okay because I fight good with my back against the wall. I’m still here. I’m ready, I have no excuses, and I’m not going to need any. Tavares will when he gets beat by the old Badass.”