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Phil Baroni to make Bellator debut in May

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Don't look now, but "The New York Badass" is coming to a Bellator cage.

Phil Baroni has signed a three-fight contract with the promotion and will debut May 2 in Atlantic City, N.J. against Jesus Martinez. Baroni confirmed the news with after initially posting it on his Instagram account. The welterweight bout will air on the Spike TV main card.

Baroni (15-17) wouldn't comment on the specifics of the deal, but a source with the knowledge of it said his Bellator contract is only exclusive to North America. In other words, he is free to continue fighting for OneFC or any other promotion overseas.

The 37-year-old, whose debut will not be a part of a Bellator tournament, will be making his promotional debut. He hasn't fought since May 2013 after suffering a gruesome ankle injury in a loss to Nobutatsu Suzuki at ONE FC 9. The UFC, PRIDE, Cage Rage, EliteXC, Strikeforce (among others) veteran has lost his last two in a row.

Martinez (8-5) is 0-3 under the Bellator banner, most recently losing a decision to Nah-Shon Burrell at Bellator 108.

Bellator has yet to officially announce the event or any other fight on the card.