Fight Agreements Signed For Randy Couture v. James Toney At UFC 118

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6 Total Updates since March 3, 2010
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James Toney Has Not Yet Signed Bout Agreement To Face Randy Couture At UFC 118

"Well I got a little disturbing news when I called the UFC for a little bit of a round up this morning is that James Toney is dragging his feet over the bout agreement signing with Randy Couture, which I think is bad news."

- Via Gareth Davies on MMA Live

When I first talked to Scott Christ of SB Nation's Bad Left Hook he wasted no time in saying "yeah, James Toney will probably never fight in the UFC."  And it would not be shocking to see Toney not actually take a UFC fight and instead use this whole period as a chance to try and get his name hot to attempt to cash in on a big boxing payday.

Yesterday Mo Lawal posted that he was submitted in training by Toney, but at the same time it wouldn't surprise anyone if Toney just is not finding MMA training to be as easy as he hoped.  If James is finding that he can't use his boxing style effectively against wrestlers or kickboxers it could be discouraging him.

At the very least we could be headed toward a "postponement" of the bout.

SB Nation will continue to bring you updates on the bout as they become available.


James Toney v. Randy Couture Planned For UFC 118

In a match likely to re-ignite the "boxing vs. MMA" debate, a bout between 10-time UFC champion Randy Couture (18-10 MMA, 15-7 UFC) and former boxing champion James Toney (0-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is targeted for the UFC's first trip to Boston.

Fighters Only was the first to report the possibility of the pairing, and ( today confirmed that while the matchup is far from official, it's in the works for a headlining spot at the event.

- MMA Junkie says the plans of Randy Couture vs. James Toney are moving along.

MMA fans are getting caught up in Toney's boxing thinking that he is some sort of power puncher.  He isn't.  His absolute best athletic days were around 170 pounds, he's blown up to heavyweight and at the higher weights he doesn't pack a ton of power.  When you add smaller gloves and Randy Couture's somewhat questionable chin it does add to the chances of Toney getting a KO, but it's not the situation where a single punch automatically puts Randy's lights out.

Toney also has an awful style of boxing to try and translate to MMA. He's a defensive shoulder rolling counter-puncher.  He's likely to eat plenty of leg kicks or get double legged with ease and pounded out.

This is an easy win for Couture if he fights smart at all.


Randy Couture Stirs The Pot For A Fight With James Toney

Randy Couture is really interested in getting a fight with James Toney done and he is starting to talk about it to the media.


Dana White Speaks About James Toney Signing

From Kevin Iole’s piece on Yahoo! Sports:

"We threw the kitchen sink at Brock when he came in," White said. "Are we going to do that same thing with James? I don’t know. To be 100 percent honest with you, all [expletive] aside, I haven’t thought it out.

"I like James Toney. He’s one of the greatest boxers ever. I have tremendous respect for him. He said he wanted to fight in the UFC and I was interested. Now he’s here and I have to figure out what to do with him. What we won’t do is make a freak show out of it. I’d be the first to scream if someone else did that, so I’m not going to do it."

For the first time, the UFC will have to manage the schedule of one of its fighters with someone else, since Toney’s contract allows him to box.

"Hey, I don’t want this to be seen as a joke, and it’s not like Herschel Walker or Canseco or any of those guys," White said. "James Toney is a fighter. The worst thing anyone can ever say to me is that they were watching one of my fights and they changed the channel. That’s why I’ll never put [expletive] fights on.

"James is an interesting case. We know how much talent he has as a boxer and he insists he’ll surprise people by how much MMA he knows. I’ve still got some thinking to do. But if we promote him and he does well and that raises his profile and he gets a Klitschko fight and makes a lot of money for himself and Goossen, I’d be cool with that. But James came to me and he literally chased me around the country to do it, so I’m giving him the chance. We’ll get it figured out one way or another."

There is a lot to the Toney story that is being overlooked in the “is it a freakshow?” debate.

1) James Toney is no longer a major draw in boxing. He’s never been a huge draw to begin with, but the guy can’t get a major fight right now in boxing.

2) I sincerely doubt that the UFC signed James Toney with the intention of putting him in fights that he should win. Don’t look for him to fight a Kimbo type fighter. It’s going to be a steady diet of wrestlers.

3) Where is the outrage over signing a guy who has failed two steroid tests in five years? I’ve heard all kinds of noise from the MMA community every time Josh Barnett’s name is brought up as in talks with a promotion. Where’s the outrage with Toney?

I’m not upset by the Toney signing, but I do find it very odd that a lot of things are being overlooked.

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