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Phil Baroni Cut by UFC After Loss to Brad Tavares

After suffering a knockout loss to Brad Tavares on Saturday at UFC 125, Phil Baroni has been released by the UFC.

News of Baroni's release was first reported by late Monday. After his loss on Saturday, Baroni told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani that he expected the UFC would cut him. The loss was his second straight in the UFC since returning to the promotion in late 2009 and his third straight overall.

Baroni (13-13, 3-7 UFC) showed patience early against Tavares (5-1), a veteran of Season 11 of "The Ultimate Fighter." Baroni had moved back up to middleweight for the bout after several fights at welterweight. Just over a minute into the bout, Baroni landed a big left that dropped Tavares, then briefly had a front choke on the ground.

"The New York Bad Ass" spent time training at the American Kickboxing Academy for the bout, and had talked about feeling more comfortable back at middleweight. But with a minute left in the fight, a left kick to the head by Tavares staggered Baroni. Baroni motioned for him to come forward, and Tavares did – landing a right hand, a knee, and then combinations against the fence until Baroni buckled, allowing Tavares to finish him with strikes on the ground.

Baroni, long considered one of the most colorful figures in the sport thanks to his entrances – he wore his signature sunglasses during the weigh-ins for UFC 125 as well as his introduction on Saturday – said on his Twitter feed that he plans to "turn 2011 around! Back on the horse!"

In his career, Baroni has endured three losing streaks of three fights or more, including four straight in the UFC (Matt Lindland, Evan Tanner twice and Pete Sell) after starting his career 5-1. Baroni spent the middle part of his career fighting in Pride, where he went 4-2 before returning to fight mostly in the States.

Baroni, 34, is reportedly already fielding offers from other MMA promotions.

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