UFC veteran Phil Baroni has been arrested by Mexican authorities after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend and killing her.
Local news outlet Tribuna de la Bahia on Tuesday reported that, Baroni, 46, was arrested Sunday in San Pancho, a town in the state of Nayarit in Mexico, after he contacted Policía Estatal Turística, who were patrolling the area, and informed them that his girlfriend, Paola, was unconscious in their room at the Jardín San Pancho Hotel.
According to the report, authorities discovered Paola naked, laying in bed and covered with a blanket. She appeared to have been struck multiple times as she had bruises on her face and body. She had no vital signs when police arrived.
After being questioned, Baroni told authorities that he and Paola were both smoking marijuana and drinking beer when she revealed that she’d had an affair with another man. This sparked the incident in which Baroni said he told Paola to get in the shower. After she refused, Baroni allegedly grabbed Paola and threw her into the shower where she hit her forehead and then fell back hitting her head again.
Baroni said he helped her up to her feet and laid her down on the bed. He said he took her clothes off and covered her with a blanket because she said she was cold. After a few minutes, Baroni said Paola asked him to get her a beer and cigarettes. When Baroni returned, he said he thought Paola was sleeping but then realized she was unresponsive as he tried to wake her.
Local authorities informed the Public Ministry of the incident, which is being investigated and Baroni potentially facing a charge for murder. Baroni was arrested and is being held in custody at Juzgado Municipal Administrativo de Valle de Banderas .
Baroni competed professionally in MMA for almost two decades from 2000 to 2019. Most notably, “The New York Bad Ass” fought for the UFC and Pride FC, but also competed for Bellator, Strikeforce, ONE Championship. In the early 2000s, he became a popular name in the sport and for a brief period was considered a title contender.
Baroni held an MMA record of 16-19. In that span, he fought some of the biggest names of his era, including Frank Shamrock, Joe Riggs, Evan Tanner, Matt Lindland, Dave Menne, and more.