REPORT: Phil Baroni arrested for alleged murder of his girlfriend

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MMA veteran Phil Baroni had reportedly been arrested for the alleged murder of his girlfriend in Mexico.

Mexican news outlet Tribuna de la Bahia reported on Tuesday that the 46-year-old was arrested on Sunday in San Pancho after Baroni contacted police and reported his girlfriend, Paola, was unconscious.

The authorities arrives at the Jardin San Pancho Hotel where they discovered the woman was naked underneath a blanket with bruises on her face and body and didn’t show any vital signs.

In the report, Baroni stated that the couple had been drinking and smoking marijuana when he was told by the woman that she had an affair with a man. The report goes on to state that Baroni tried to force her into the shower where she hit her forehead, fell, and hit her head a second time. It states that Baroni placed her in the bed and took her clothes off because she said she was cold and put a blanket over her.

Baroni says he went to get more cigarettes and beer and when he returned, she was unresponsive and he contacted the authorities.

The report states that Baroni is being held in custody in Juzgado Municipal Administrativo de Valle de Banderas where Baroni could face a murder charge.

Baroni began his MMA career in 2000 and fought at UFC 30 in his second professional fight right after Zuffa purchased the company in 2001 and fought for the promotion through 2005. In November 2003, he lost by TKO to the late Evan Tanner and was furious when referee Larry Landless stopped the fight and struck Landless, which led to a suspension for Baroni.

After leaving the UFC, he competed in PRIDE including the promotion’s U.S. debut in October 2006 in Las Vegas where he submitted Yosuke Nishijima.

Perhaps the biggest fight of his career occurred in June 2007 when he fought Frank Shamrock on a Strikeforce event in San Jose, California, which the two promoted very well.

In 2009, he returned to the UFC with losses to Amir Sadollah and Brad Tavares before moving on and fighting for ONE Championship, DREAM, and Bellator. His last fight was in September 2019 where he was submitted by Sai Wang at a Rebel FC event.

Baroni had also dabbled into professional wrestling including a tag match for the Inoki Genome Federation in 2015, and wrestling against Dominic Garrini at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport in April 2019.

Barnett released a statement reacting to the news of Baroni’s arrest and stating he had become “erratic, displaced, and emotionally he was all over the place” and believed he is suffering from CTE.

The news about Phil Baroni is terrible and incredibly tragic as well.

I've known Phil for 2 decades + and at the 1st JB Bloodsport show could see that his personality and behavior was erratic, displaced, and emotionally he was all over the place and it was obvious why: CTE

— 𝕿𝖍𝖊 𝖂𝖆𝖗𝖒𝖆𝖘𝖙𝖊𝖗 (@JoshLBarnett) January 4, 2023