Question: What do you get when you cross an American Psycho with a New York Bad Ass and a s**t-load of bitcoins?

Answer: The Legends Room.

On Saturday, August 26, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor won’t be the only two blokes in Las Vegas looking to capitalise on the curiosity and perversions of Sin City natives. Phil Baroni and Stephan Bonnar, too, in opening their Vegas-based gentlemen’s (strip) club, The Legends Room, will be looking to do similar. There will be the same cynical seduction process. The same stench of glamour and wealth. And, for the punters, presumably the same sense of anti-climax.

“There’s going to be MMA fighters, strippers and porn stars at The Legends Room,” Baroni told Fighters Only on Wednesday. “We named the place after me and Stephan Bonnar.

“Bonnar is the man responsible for the UFC being where it is today. If it wasn’t for him, Forrest Griffin and their fight, the UFC would not be what it is today. So I want to thank Stephan for carrying that bum Forrest Griffin for three rounds and making the UFC what it is today.

“We’re opening the club on the night of the Conor McGregor (and Floyd Mayweather) fight. It’s the grand opening and we’re showing the fight. Dana White has even given us the pay-per-view for free. It’s all because of what Stephan Bonnar did for the UFC. Everybody talks s**t about Dana White, but he’s not that bad.”

The story of how The Legends Room came to be is perhaps the only thing crazier than the idea that Baroni and Bonnar, MMA tough guys, are now following Mayweather’s lead and entering the strip joint business.

Unbeknown to Baroni at the time, the wheels were first set in motion when he accepted a series of fights for ONE Championship circa 2011, 2012 and 2013, and requested being paid not in American dollars but bitcoins, a digital currency. It would later prove a masterstroke. Initially, though, it was simply Baroni’s way of escaping the evil clutches of Uncle Sam.

“Because I didn’t want to pay taxes, I got paid in bitcoins,” he explained. “But my memory is not the best and I forgot about it.

“Well, during this time it went up a lot in value and ended up being a ridiculous amount of money. It was so much money that me and Stephan Bonnar were able to open a strip club in Las Vegas.”

Don’t think for one second Baroni is done fighting, though. He still has plenty of that left in him, he says, despite losing his last three pro fights and being inactive since July 2014. There’s no stopping. No retirement. No giving up. In fact, Phil Baroni, 15-18, has pledged only to return home, back to New York, when he has a title to take with him.

“I’m not going home without the title,” said the 41-year-old. “I’ve been here since I lost to Matt Lindland in 2003. I had my bag packed with all my s**t in there, but told myself I’m never going to unpack that bag and go home until I have won a world title.

“I still haven’t been home yet. The show ain’t f**king over. I’m making a comeback. I’m talking to an Asian promotion and I’m going to win that title and go home.”

The trip home will happen one day, I’m sure. First, The New York Bad Ass must prepare for opening night. Mixed martial artists, strippers, porn stars, Mayweather and McGregor. Five things with more in common than you’d think.


*** If The Legends Room isn’t your scene, check out Phil Baroni’s clothing line Future Legend for some cool hoodies, T-shirts and caps ***