Honestly, I'll be surprised if Toney signs for this fight. I think He wants to hold out for Kimbo.- COUTURE EXPECTS TONEY FIGHT TO BE OFFICIAL SOON
Monday, May 03, 2010 - by Damon Martin - MMAWeekly.com
Welcome to mixed martial arts James Toney.
That's the message that UFC legend Randy "The Natural" Couture is ready to send to the former world champion boxer in August. It appears the fight is just weeks away from becoming official. This is according to Couture, who spoke with MMAWeekly Radio on Monday.
"It looks like we're narrowing it down, hopefully get a chance to sign for the James Toney fight here pretty quickly, and they're looking to put that fight on at UFC 118 in Boston in August, and I'm excited about that," said Couture.
"I think it will happen pretty soon, but I haven't heard anything about the bout agreement, or any of that stuff. So far it's not official, it's all just hearsay, but I know some of it's come from Dana as well, so it's just a matter of time. We'll get it signed here probably in the next couple weeks."
James Toney's signing with the UFC once again sparked the age-old debate of boxing vs. MMA. Couture believes it was always just a matter of time, but he's happy that Toney has stepped up and decided to take the challenge.
Now the question remains is Toney ready for that challenge?
"We've heard (Floyd) Mayweather and others kind of run their mouths about it, and he's the first one that's actually had the courage to step up and fight, and stand behind what he's talking," said Couture. "We've heard other boxers come on board and make comments about MMA, and James is really the first one that's stepped up and put his butt where his mouth is and signed on the line."
An MMA legend and UFC Hall of Famer, Couture is obviously an extremely tough first test out of the gate for Toney, but he's stated in the past that he wanted a challenge when he came to the UFC. The former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion more than offers that challenge, and Couture is happy to head the welcome wagon for the former boxing champ.
"Someone needs to welcome him appropriately to mixed martial arts, and show him what we're all about," said Couture.
With Toney's world-class boxing at his disposal, the 46-year-old Couture knows that he'd be crazy to try to match hands with him, but can Toney get ready in time for the inevitable trip to the mat with a grappling legend like Couture?
"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," said Couture. "There's so many other tools that come in play in mixed martial arts. Hopefully, he'll have learned some of them, and we'll have a great fight.
"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. It's a lot harder for him to be an effective boxer from his butt."
The fight weight for the Couture vs. Toney match-up is yet to be determined. According to Couture, he'd prefer a fight at 205 pounds, but he'll also take the fight at heavyweight if that's what Toney prefers.
"I don't care, it doesn't make any difference to me," Couture said about the weight for the fight. "I actually think he will be in better shape and a tougher opponent if he's got to get himself in shape, and cut to 205. If he chooses to stay up at 230 where he's at now and fight at heavyweight, that doesn't really matter, we're not that big a difference in size."
Contracts should be out soon, making Randy Couture vs. James Toney official for Aug. 28 in Boston.