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Phil Baroni, ex-UFC fighter, arrested in Mexico for allegedly murdering girlfriend: report

Former MMA fighter Phil Baroni has been arrested in Mexico for allegedly killing his girlfriend, the prosecutors’ office in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit announced.

According to the prosecutors’ office, a woman was found dead in San Fernando on Sunday. Officials later identified the ex-UFC star as the suspect and said an initial hearing in the case would be held on Monday, the Associated Press reported.

Per authorities, the woman, later identified as Paola, was found in bed, covered only by a sheet. Her body had several bruises.

The newspaper Tribuna de la Bahia reported that Baroni contacted law enforcement and said the woman had slipped and hit her head after he threw her into the shower.


Authorities said Baroni claimed he then helped her onto the bed and brought her a blanket when she complained about being cold. 

She allegedly then asked Baroni to bring her cigarettes and beer, the outlet reported. When he came back to the room with the cigarettes, he got into bed with Paola because he thought she was asleep.

It is unclear if Baroni had legal representation.

Phil Baroni of the U.S. (C) pins down Brazil's Rodrigo Ribeiro during their ONE Fighting Championship (FC) mixed martial arts (MMA) fight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Manila August 31, 2012. Indelibly linked with the 'Thrilla in Manila', where Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier laid their bitter boxing rivalry to rest some 37 years ago, the Araneta Coliseum welcomed "the future of fighting" on Friday in the Philippines' biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) event. Picture taken August 31, 2012. 

Baroni, 46, was born in New York and is listed as a welterweight with a 15-18-0 record on the UFC website.

The incident marks the second recent violent occurrence regarding the UFC in Mexico. UFC President Dana White was seen on video released by TMZ slapping his wife, Anne, while the two were on vacation in Cabo San Lucas in December.

LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 21: UFC fighter Phil Baroni (L) battles UFC fighter Amir Sadollah (R) during their Welterweight Fight at UFC 106: Ortiz vs. Griffin 2 at Mandalay Bay Events Center on November 21, 2009, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Video of the incident went viral across social media. White told TMZ in an interview that he was “embarrassed” and concerned for how his three children were affected.

“It is what it is. And whatever people do say, it’s deserved. I deserve it. It happened. I don’t know why it happened and my wife and I have apologized to each other, we’ve apologized to our kids, and this is one of those things that everyone is going to chime in. I could care less what people think about this. We’re more concerned about our kids and taking care of our family.”

Baroni last fought in September 2019, where he was defeated via submission.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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