As Aug. 28 gets closer, the rhetoric from James “Lights Out” Toney continues. Without question, the professional boxing champion believes he is going to knock out MMA legend Randy Couture in their UFC 118 co-main event in Boston.
Many MMA fans chalk all his talk up to the ramblings of a delusional one-dimensional fighter past his prime and believe Toney stands zero chance of stopping one of MMA’s most popular representatives. I think this view is a mistake.
This whole fight is going to come down to how fast Randy Couture can put James Toney on his back. Couture’s style of wrestling, for the most part, is dependent upon him getting hold of his opponent in the clinch and getting him to the ground. This could be a real problem.
Every second this fight stays on the feet, Couture is in danger. It’s only going to take one solid shot from Toney and the fight is over.
Toney said he originally wanted to fight UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. Now that is a fight Toney would have much less chance of winning. Most likely Lesnar would simply shoot in with one of his patented powerful rapid fire double legs right out of the gate, put Toney on his back and land a barrage of those jack-hammer elbows or hammer fists and it’s good night Irene. Not to mention Lesnar would have a significant weight advantage.
Couture will not have the luxury of either a significant weight advantage or a powerful double leg. Instead, he will have to go straight at this fire-breathing two-fisted dragon, find a way to grab hold of him without getting hit, then hope he can impose his will on this unwilling participant.
More is at stake here than just the two men in the cage. It is about what they represent. Toney carries with him a proud pugilistic community fighting for its life, fighting for relevance. Couture is MMA’s hero. Fighters and fans alike look up to him as a living legend. And Toney has spit in his face. He’s spit in the face of the whole MMA community. He’s disrespected the whole sport by dogging Couture, unbelieving that a fighter with a record of 18-10 could possibly be considered a legend.
Tim Sylvia vs. Ray Mercer looked bad, but the MMA community shrugged it off by saying Sylvia was washed up or a joke, or he wasn’t in the UFC so it didn’t really mean anything. It barely even made the press.
But there will be no sweeping this one under the rug if Couture gets lamped. James Toney will make sure of that.
Elie Seckbach goes inside Toney’s UFC 118 training camp to take a look at how the boxing champion’s MMA training is coming along and to get more of his thoughts on his upcoming fight with Couture.