"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.