Phil Baroni's Thailand schedule: "The Terminator" and the rainy season. | Photo: Jeff Sherwood
Popular welterweight puncher Phil Baroni (www.twitter.com/PhilBaroni) will blog his experiences leading up to his One FC fight with Yoshiyuki Yoshida for Sherdog.com readers. One FC “Champion vs. Champion” streams live on Sherdog.com on Sept. 3, live from Kallang, Singapore.
I get to Thailand and I’m tired; my sleep was way off. Plus, it’s hot and humid as hell in Phuket. It’s like 90 percent humidity every day, so, you want to talk about swamp ass?
Of course, it gets worse when I’m waiting to get my bags, and one is missing. F---. I can’t even get into it. I’m getting pissed just thinking about it now.
Anyway, Tiger Muay Thai had a taxi waiting for me -- nice, playa, nice. I get in and they take me right to Tiger. I told them I felt like s---, but that I really wanted to train. They tell me to do the fighters’ class after I check into my hotel. So, I walk across the street to some s--- called Benui, which is really just a bunch of bungalows. These are really nice bungalows, too: Two rooms and everything you need, not just an empty studio across the street.
And it’s across the street from Tiger Muay Thai, so I don't have to drive in monsoons on my little motorbike. Thanks to Ray Elbe for hooking me up.
Since I’m only going to be training at Tiger a few days, they want to film me. I actually think Ray just wants to get me on film because I look like s--- from the flight. You know, just to f--- with me. He really thinks it’s funny.
I take the fighters’ class, and I end up going with J.J. Ambrose, an up-and-coming young fighter that I’m friends with. He’s trained with us out at American Kickboxing Academy and at Antonio McKee’s Bodyshop back in California. He’s actually the wrestling coach at Tiger Muay Thai now.
I also got to hit pads with some new tall badass trainer they have at Tiger now. This guy’s a stud, really working my ass hard on the pads. We work clinch, I find J.J., and we go over a lot of clinch stuff against a judo guy, to simulate Yoshida. Gotta work on stopping the cheap little trips, and not pushing inside -- just the basic stuff so I don’t get thrown in the fight.
After training, we decide to eat. J.J. took me to this nice restaurant with some of the Tiger guys. I choose this big fish for them to cook for me. The other guys order some sides and salad, which tells me they’re professionals and that they’re healthy. I eat the food, it’s great. But, it’s Phuket, and the part that sucks about Thailand is never far behind.
It’s a 20-minute drive back and it starts pouring. The roads are flooded almost immediately. I suck at riding my scooter anyway, nevermind in the pouring rain without a helmet. Everyone else takes off and what is about a 20-minute ride for them takes me over 40.
I’m f---ing soaked when I get back to the hotel. Thankfully, it’s warm rain, not the cold-ass New York rain.
The next day, I have training set up with Robert “The Terminator” Thanawet at Tiger. He is big as hell for a Thai, looks strong, and he still fights. He also has one eye that’s white, which is kind of weird, but I hear the guy is a badass, loves to fight and train hard. He was the guy that Jon Fitch told me about when he trained in Thailand and he recommended I work with him.
Well, it was a good recommendation. This guy worked me out hard and made some simple, easy corrections that had me kicking a lot harder on the pads. We worked hard on the pads and went over more clinch stuff. “The Terminator” is about my size and he was strong, so he was a great clinch partner. I really can’t wait to get back to Tiger and work his ass some more.
I had three good days at Tiger and one more hard morning session with Robert before I left for Singapore. It’s been so nice since I’ve started getting ready to leave, sunny and warm. After I knock Yoshida out, I’d love to head back to Phuket for a few days. If the weather is nice, I’ll do the beach, too.
Again, I’m writing this blog from the plane. This time, it’s off to Singapore. Asian flight attendants are always the best-looking girls, too. It’s like “Asia’s Next Top Model” on these fights, damn.
So, what the f---, airlines in the U.S.? Fire all the ugly, old, rude women you have working for you, and recruit here in Asia. They even smile and ask politely when they tell me to sit up straight and turn off my computer.
See you in Singapore. Word to your mother.