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Former UFC fighter Phil Baroni arrested in Mexico for allegedly murdering his girlfriend: report

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Former MMA fighter Phil Baroni has been arrested in Mexico for allegedly killing his girlfriend, the state attorney’s office in Nayarit on the Pacific Coast has announced.

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

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

Tribuna de la Bahia newspaper reported that Baroni contacted law enforcement and said the woman slipped and hit her head after throwing her in the shower.

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LAS VEGAS, NV – JUNE 19: Former Mixed Martial Artist Phil Baroni competes in the Raising the Stakes for Cerebral Palsy Celebrity Poker Tournament at Planet Hollywood Resort &; Casino hosted by the One Step Closer Foundation to raise money and awareness for people with cerebral palsy on June 19, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

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Authorities said Baroni claimed he then helped her to bed and brought her a blanket when she complained of being cold.

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

It is unclear whether Baroni had legal representation.

Phil Baroni of the United States (C) pins Rodrigo Ribeiro of Brazil during their ONE Fighting Championship (FC) mixed martial arts (MMA) bout at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Manila August 31, 2012. Indelibly linked to the ' Thrilla in Manila,” where Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier ended their bitter boxing rivalry 37 years ago, the Araneta Coliseum hosted "the future of combat" Friday in the Philippines' largest mixed martial arts (MMA) event.  Photo taken August 31, 2012.

Phil Baroni of the United States (C) pins Rodrigo Ribeiro of Brazil during their ONE Fighting Championship (FC) mixed martial arts (MMA) bout at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Manila August 31, 2012. Indelibly linked to the ‘ Thrilla in Manila,” where Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier ended their bitter boxing rivalry 37 years ago, the Araneta Coliseum hosted “the future of fighting” on Friday at the biggest mixed martial arts event ( MMA) from the Philippines. Photo taken August 31, 2012.
(REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo)

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

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

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

LAS VEGAS – NOVEMBER 21: UFC fighter Phil Baroni (L) takes on UFC fighter Amir Sadollah (R) in their welterweight bout at UFC 106: Ortiz vs. Griffin 2 at Mandalay Bay Events Center on November 21, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Video of the incident has gone viral on social media. White told TMZ in an interview that he was “embarrassed” and concerned about how his three children have been affected.

“It is what it is. And whatever people say, it’s deserved. I deserve it. It happened. I don’t know why it happened and my wife and I apologized, we we apologize to our kids, and that’s one of those things that everyone’s going to talk about. I don’t care what people think about that. We’re more concerned about our kids and taking care of our family.

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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