Sun, 31 May 2009
Scott talks with Dave and Kevin prior to his June 6th bout at Strikeforce Lawlor vs Shields.
In the early half of his career, Smith – fighting at heavyweight – compiled victories in the International Fighting Championships and Gladiator Challenge shows across the United States. While successful in the smaller promotions, Smith's first major appearance in the mixed martial arts world came in the World Extreme Cagefighting organization. Smith entered a WEC light heavyweight tournament with limited name recognition, but was branded by experts as the dark horse of the competition. 
Smith defeated WEC veteran Tim McKenzie in the semi-finals. With that victory, Smith was slated to fight Justin Levens in the tournament finals; Levens, however, was halted on doctor's advice due to a shoulder injury he sustained in his semi-final bout. The tournament alternate, Tait Fletcher, was brought into the championship round instead. Smith made short work of Fletcher, scoring a first-round technical knockout to become the WEC Light Heavyweight Champion.
Smith would defend his championship from Justin Levens at WEC 18 before scheduling a fight with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in April 2006, moving down a weight class to fight David Terrell at UFC 59. The fight – marked with questionable officiating – ended in controversial fashion, prompting Smith to file a complaint with the California State Athletic Commission. 
Smith was then seen as a middleweight contestant on The Ultimate Fighter: The Comeback, where he quickly lost his quarterfinal matchup against Travis Lutter. Smith appeared on the season finale, knocking out Pete Sell in the second round of a very exciting fight in a sequence that saw Smith sustain a hard punch to the liver, and throw the bout-winning knockout punch before falling to the ground in pain.
Smith lost his next fight in the UFC by decision against Patrick Cote at UFC 67.  More recently, Smith defeated Troy Miller by technical knockout at Palace Fighting Championship 2 in Lemoore, California. He lost against Ed Herman at UFC 72. Herman submitted Smith with a rear naked choke at 2:25 in the second round after Herman landed a nasty elbow on Smith in the first round covering his face in blood.
Smith made his EliteXC debut on February 16th knocking out Kyle Noke seven seconds into round two. The victory earned him a title shot against Robbie Lawler. The bout was declared a no contest after an accidental poke in the eye in the third round. The first two rounds were so exciting that Gary Shaw awarded both fighters their win bonuses and announced an immediate rematch. Smith lost the subsequent rematch to Lawler via TKO on July 26, 2008 at EliteXC: Unfinished Business. At Strikeforce: Destruction, Smith took a fight with Terry Martin at one week notice and beat Martin in the 1st round by KO.
Sat, 30 May 2009
Phil Baroni talks to the Ringside Report a week before his big Strikeforce bout with Joe Riggs.
One of the most controversial and outspoken fighters in the sport, Baroni made his MMA debut on July 5, 2000 and TKO’d John Hayes just 0:45 into the first round at “Vengeance at the Vanderbilt” in Plainview, New York. Due to his charismatic personality and devastating punching power, the Long Island native would go on to become one of the hottest properties in MMA. However, after some tough losses in the UFC, Baroni eventually moved to Japan to fight in PRIDE events, where he recorded notable wins over the likes of Yuki Kondo and Ryo Chonnan before returning to the states in 2007 to provide closure to his heated Internet feud with Frank Shamrock.
In what would prove to be one of the top fights of the year (June 22, 2007, SHOWTIME PPV), Baroni suffered a second round TKO loss to Shamrock after Shamrock put him in a rear naked choke. Showing a warrior’s spirit, Baroni refused to tap, instead opting to pass out, forcing the referee to decline Shamrock submission victory.
Soon after the fight, the California State Athletic Commission announced that Baroni had tested positive for two types of steroids, Boldenone and Stanozolol. He was suspended for one year and fined $2,500. Baroni has denied the accusations throughout and mounted an appeal in hopes of having the suspension overturned.
While the suspension was never overturned, it was reduced from 12 months to six. He returned to action on March 15, 2008 in the ICON Sport promotion in Honolulu.
After a strong first round, Baroni showed signs of a fighter who was coming off an extended layoff and ultimately lost the bout at 1:45 of round 5 against Kala Kolohe Hose in a contest to decide the vacant ICON middleweight championship.
Baroni has reeled off three straight wins since moving down from the middleweight to welterweight division.