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Weekend Update: Baroni, Daley, and Grove all victorious during weekend MMA action

Phil Baroni, making his debut as a welterweight for the Cage Rage promotion in the UK, scored what is being described as a highlight reel first-round knockout over “Contenders” (Cage Rage’s feeder promotion) graduate Scott Jansen.

After the fight, Baroni was described as approaching the fallen Jansen in order to check on his condition, but that he received a headbutt for his troubles from someone in Jansen’s corner. Baroni reportedly backed off and didn’t try to escalate the situation.

Also at Cage Rage 27 in London last night, heavyweight Neil Grove TKO’d Robert “Buzz” Berry in the second round. Grove made his Cage Rage debut at Cage Rage 22 in July of last year. Competing as a virtual unknown at the time, he recorded a stunning upset when he knocked out James Thompson just 10 seconds into the fight. He followed up his strong debut with a TKO over Berry following the first round at Cage Rage 24 last December but last a majority decision to Rob Broughton at Cage Rage 25 in March.

You might recall Berry as the fighter that knocked out Ken Shamrock at 3:26 of round 1 during Cage Rage 25. The loss to Grove drops him to 0-2 in head-to-head meetings with him with his overall record now standing at 12-7.

The outcome of Grove vs. Berry II is of interest because there have been some rumblings that the winner of last night’s fight would be awarded a shot to fight Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson during the third installment of “Saturday Night Fights” on CBS. However, EliteXC has yet to make an announcement of any kind regarding the matter.

In other Baroni-related news, the President of the Palace Fighting Championships announced via that Baroni will be fighting on the promotion’s Sept. 26 in Lemoore, Calif. card against Olaf Alfonso. On the same card, Brian Cobb is also scheduled to defend his PFC lightweight title against Lance Wipf. Also scheduled to appear are WEC veterans Antonio Banuelos, Charlie Valencia, and Del Hawkins.

In other Saturday fight news:

Paul Daley formally ended his short-lived retirement last night during a Cage Warriors event in Nottingham, England last night. Facing undefeated Bojan Kosednar at the Harvey Haddon Sports Centre, Daley reportedly recorded a knockout at 4:53 of round 1. Indications are that with the win, Daley’s next fight is expected to take place in the U.S. under the EliteXC promotional banner.

— In a celebrity boxing match held in Atlantic City, former Philadelphia Eagles kick returner and current local sports anchor Vai Sikahema defeated former baseball player Jose Canseco via first round TKO after the referee called a stop to the fight. Sikahema weighed in at 205 pounds for the fight while Canseco, who claimed that he had MMA aspirations, weighed in close to 250 pounds.

— Our own Matt Cava was also in Atlantic City for BattleCage Xtreme 5 at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino. According to Cava, former Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro offensive lineman Carlton Haselrig lost his BattleCage Xtreme heavyweight title and suffered the first loss of his pro career when he was submitted by Joe Abouata via rear naked choke in the first round. LeVon Maynard, no stranger to readers of 5 Oz., also fought on the card as well. He dropped a unanimous decision to Mike Medrano. According to reports, both fighters looked good and put on a great fight for the fans in attendance.

— EliteXC fighter John Doyle, who has not fought since accepting a fight on short notice against Rafael Feijao during EliteXC’s “Street Certified” this past February, stepped in with a day’s notice for last night’s Combat in the Cage show in Delaware after Tim Williams’ opponent backed out. Doyle and Williams competed in a three round Muay Thai exhibition that was immediately followed by a four-minute grappling match. Because it was an exhibition, the judges did not score the bouts. Neither fighter was knocked out or submitted. Both looked very good, as Williams, who competes as an amateur in MMA and is the CITC cruiserweight champion, appears ready to turn pro.

Doyle looked very good in his return to action and appeared much lighter from when he competed previously. His camp revealed to Five Ounces of Pain that Doyle has been training hard for his eventual return to EliteXC and intends to do so as a welterweight. He had been competing almost exclusively as a light heavyweight. At 170 pounds, he is definitely someone capable of challenging the winner of the Jake Shields vs. Nick Thompson EliteXC welterweight title match on July 26 down-the-line.

EliteXC has some strong welterweight prospects now with Doyle, Matt Makowski, Tiawan Howard, and Yosmany Cabezas. Eric Bradley would normally be on that list, but it looks like his career is in a holding pattern following some legal trouble. It’s uncertain if he’ll ever compete for EliteXC again.

Takafumi Otsuka defeated Rafael dos Anjos via split decision during Fury FC 6 in Brazil last night. Sherdog has full results of the card.

  • Martin S says:

    Oh man, Vai Sikahema used to be electric as a kickoff returner. So many TDs. Funny to see that he’s fighting MMA now.

  • Keith says:

    Just watched the Baroni KO…WOW!

  • bubbafat says:

    I’m seriously surprised and impressed by Baroni’s change of attitude. I have to admit I criticized him after his loss to Villasignor when he got emotional, but I forget these guys are human sometimes. It seriously seems like he’s taken a step back to objectively assess where he stands in this sport. Plus the fact that the headbutt dude didn’t get a Baroni beatdown! A word I definitely never thought I would use in the same sentence when talking about Phil Baroni, “Classy.”

  • JustinTime says:

    I just watched the fight this morning and Baroni looked good. Took and early takedown and worked a kimura for a while. The weird thing was after that he got full mount and not 20 seconds in to having the position they just stood them up. I had never seen that before. The guy who butts baroni in the head was an idiot. Can’t believe he didn’t rush that guy. He showed pretty good restrant. Good to see Baroni smash some Brit in his own country. Maybe Baroni can get something going at welterweight. He claimed after the fight tha he is now the hardest hitting welterweight in the world. He might be right up there as far as punching power.

  • Rich S. says:

    “Baroni will be fighting on the promotion’s Sept. 26 in Lemoore, Calif. card against Olaf Alfonso”

    are you serious??
    come on..
    that’s just mean..
    Olaf’s 7-8, with 5 of his losses coming by way of (T)KO..
    if there’s ONE thing Alfonso’s good at it’s giving OTHER PEOPLE highlight reel KO’s.. so they pit him against Baroni???? I feel sorry for you, Olaf.. and i never thought i’d say that…

    check out Olaf’s fights with Sakurai, and Razor Rob… they’re hilarious.. :)

  • House says:

    Wow, just saw the fight and regardless of his less experienced opponent he looked pretty lean. Who is to say how well he would have done if it went a couple rounds but his shot was clean and his groundwork was….. improved. Phil could have had three knockouts that night, the guy who he actually hit, the over emotional head-butt character and the suspiciously trashy call girl who flipped him the bird. Who knew that the only way to make Phil look classy was to surround him with some angry Brits.

    Just joking, tea, biscuits and whatnot, god save the queen.

  • Rich S. says:

    i bet that guys feels real BAD ASS after headbutting Baroni and then running out of the ring full-speed..

    if you’re going to do something that stupid.. go ahead and back it up.. i mean, let the man do something back, or say something.. don’t just run.. running not only nullifies the fact that you just hit someone.. but it adds EVEN more douche-baggary to the douche move you just did [headbut]..

    other than that.. beautiful KO by Baroni.. you can tell he’s getting way better and taking this more seriously..

    PS – sorry to hear about Levon’s loss, good luck in the future..

  • cheapshot says:

    I was there and there were quite a few idiots in the front row keen on getting in there to try and fight baroni. they even had a couple of the fighters like brad pickett on the outside of the ring trying to calm them down. I doubt that these people are MMA fans and to be honest it’s going to take some time before the majority of the UK fans gain some knowledge about the sport.

    Funniest fight of the night was the big man Stav Economou managing to last the full 15 minutes against Piotor Kusmierz. Both fighters seemed to gas after about 2 minutes but it was entertaining none the less with Stavros dominating the stand-up and I could’ve sworn I even saw a guard pass from him in the final round. Unfortunately the end of the fight sparked a mass brawl with what looked like 200 people getting ejected.

    I can’t recommend to UK MMA fans enough to get along to as many non-UFC events as possible. They’re such good value and hopefully we’ll be seeing a couple of these fighters making the transition to an Elite XC event. The cheapest ticket for UFC was £50 ($100) and we were basically as far back as could be and ended up watching a lot of it on the big screen where as for Cage Rage we paid £10 ($20) and weren’t too far away at all.


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