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Phil Baroni Released by Strikeforce, UFC Return Likely

Phil BaroniStrikeforce announced on Thursday that it has released welterweight veteran Phil Baroni following a unanimous decision loss to Joe Riggs in his most-recent bout in June.

“We wish Phil the best of luck and hope he can revive his career,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said Thursday in the announcement. “If he can, maybe one day, he can return and fight for us.”

Despite losing his last fight, the “New York Bad Ass” is apparently heading back to the UFC after winning three-straight bouts in 2008 after dropping from middleweight to 170-pounds, as Sherdog reports that a deal is in the works between Baroni and the UFC:

Phil Baroni has verbally agreed to a contract with the UFC, according to a source close to the fighter. The veteran welterweight’s potential signing will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows as well as shed some light on the brewing feud between the UFC and rival promotion Strikeforce…

A source close to the UFC intimated more signings might be on the horizon as fighters complete their Strikeforce contracts.

Baroni (13-11) went 3-5 in 8 UFC bouts between 2001 and 2005, leaving the UFC following four-straight losses. Three-straight defeats to Frank Shamrock, Kala Hose, and Joey Villasenor in 2007 and 2008 caused Baroni to drop down to welterweight, where he won three-straight fights before falling to Riggs.

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