Boxing news-James Toney’s MMA Debut Set To Be Against Randy Couture In August

by James Slater – As fans may be aware, boxing legend James Toney signed a multi-fight deal with UFC’s Dana White a few months back, as “Lights Out” convinced White he would make a worthy addition to the hugely popular sport. It’s been quite a while since the 41-year-old future Hall of Famer singed the deal, and fans were wondering just who Toney would face in his MMA debut. Toney told this writer over the phone that it looked like he’d make his debut in August and that he was only interested in tackling a big name. Well, news has been put out that says Toney will almost certainly face a big name indeed in August, when he will face none other than Randy Couture – who is something of a legend in the combat sport..

The fight is being talked about for UFC 118 in Boston on August 28th. Couture, a 47-year-old who won his last fight by a “choke,” has been talking to MMA Weekly Radio about how much he is looking forward to the fight that is being finalised as we speak.

“Someone needs to welcome him [Toney] appropriately to Mixed Martial Arts, and show him what we’re all about,” Couture said earlier this week. “He’ll be very formidable at range, and I think anybody who faces him would be silly to stand around in front of him and play that game. There’s so many other tools that come to play in Mixed Martial Arts. Hopefully, he’ll have learned some of them, and we’ll have a great fight.”

Toney has been working with well-known MMA trainer Juanito Ibarra (who worked with, amongst others, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson) to get ready for the transition in sports, and Ibarra made it known how his charge would not be rushed into his debut. Now, with the Couture bout all but signed, the former world champ from 160 to 200-pounds faces one tough first fight inside The Octagon.

Toney himself, has spoken of how he intends to land a bomb, likely of the uppercut variety, on his MMA adversary before he has a chance to take him to the floor. And, with four-ounce gloves being used in MMA, Toney may well be capable of generating more power than he has done recently in boxing. Certainly, from his comments above, Couture has respect for a standing up James Toney. However, the 47-year-old says he WILL take Toney to the floor.

“I’m going to go out and try to set him up, use my striking effectively to set him up, run him into the fence when possible, and tie him up and smother him, and put him on his butt,” Couture said. “It’s a lot harder for him to be an effective boxer from his butt.”

So, how will Toney cope with all the new rules such as the five-minute rounds and all the other stuff he will be facing in his risky (and it must be said, brave) venture? Will the boxer be able to land a crushing blow before the MMA warrior manages to bring his own arsenal into play, or will Toney be taken down quickly and if so, how will “Lights Out” handle the ground and pound?

It should be one interesting and exciting night in Boston in August!


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