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Is Phil Baroni a pawn in the UFC / Strikeforce war?

I was a little curious about the mysterious situation surrounding Phil Baroni’s sudden departure from Strikeforce and introduction into the UFC. It seemed strange to me that Strikeforce would wait over two and a half months since he lost to Joe Riggs to ‘release’ Phil Baroni, and then there was the bitter sounding part in their press release basically saying “Phil sucks hard but maybe if he gets his career off life support, we’ll take him back.”

“We wish Phil the best of luck and hope he can revive his career,” Strikeforce CEO and founder Scott Coker stated. “If he can, maybe one day, he can return and fight for us.”

Baroni, though, said he wasn’t cut and simply declined to negotiate a deal that would have put him in the organization’s “Challengers” series and a fight with Erik Apple.

Despite Coker’s subtle dig, Baroni said his experience with Strikeforce was a positive one.

“They’re doing a lot of good things and giving another place fighters can go (to) and compete,” Baroni said. “I’ve got nothing bad to say about them.”

Fighters Only has a theory that this is the start of the UFC picking off all of Strikeforce’s ‘name’ fighters. It may be, but stealing away Phil Baroni isn’t exactly the most fear inducing way to start that kind of warfare.