(Fanpost edited and promoted by MMAmania.com)
Past-his-prime pugilist James Toney will finally get the chance to prove that boxing (with takedown defense) trumps mixed martial arts on any given Saturday when he takes on former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Randy Couture at UFC 118 in Boston.
Can he do it?
Not according to famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach, who was asked to give his thoughts recently on "Lights Out" coming over to the UFC to fight "The Natural."
Courtesy of East Side Boxing:
"I think it's a bad decision. I don't think it will work. I think the UFC is just trying to say they're better than boxing because if James fought Couture in a boxing match James would absolutely destroy him, but if he fights him in a UFC/MMA style fight James does not have a ground game, once he goes to the ground it's over. It's completely two different sports and they're just trying to use older boxers to make their sport look better."
I think many mixed martial arts fans will agree with Freddy's first two sentences. Toney coming over to face a former multi-MMA champion in his first cage fight is probably not the best idea in the world.
But then his third sentence leads to something completely different. It seems as though he's saying the UFC reached out to Toney and offered him a fight with one of their former champions just to prove that UFC fighters are better than boxers.
Wow, wow, wow! I think I speak for most of us when I say that is totally NOT what went down.
James Toney made it very public that he was going to follow Dana White to UFC 108 on January 2 in Las Vegas and approach the UFC president to ask for a fight inside the Octagon.
He did so.
He was even seen in several post-fight videos with Dana immediately following the event. Two days later a video was released that featured White, Toney, and two other men talking about working out a deal for the pro boxer to get in on some UFC action.
About a month later Toney was featured on "Sports Soup" giving this interesting message to Dana:
"Dana White: F*** you, f*** you, f*** you. Be right, come with the money if you ain't...if you ain't scared put down the candy, let the little girls go and come see me. Dana White, offers there, everything is in your corner right now, so come on. Come see the man."
Several other names mentioned in that Sports Soup call-out (and HDNet appearance) were current Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, "The Iceman" Chuck Liddell, former UFC fighter Kimbo Slice, and his hopeful UFC 118 opponent Randy Couture.
It seems to me that Toney got exactly what he wanted. A few weeks after all of this nonsense, Couture actually felt the need to respond to Toney, almost immediately agreeing to a match-up with the NABO Heavyweight Champion.
I don't know where Roach is getting his information these days, but it sure isn't reality.
The UFC may be trying to show that boxers don't belong in an MMA arena by matching Toney up with such a solid opponent his first time out, but that's exactly what he asked for -- no, that's what he begged for! And Freddie really knocks it out of the park with his last statement.
Let's take a quick look back for effect:
"They're just trying to use older boxers to make their sport look better."
Someone please tell me when the last time was that the UFC put an older boxer against a current top MMA guy to prove that MMA is better than boxing. What's that? You can't think of a single time? Well, that's because it's NEVER happened.
Not to mention that Couture IS FIVE YEARS OLDER THAN TONEY! Maybe Toney is chasing fights with old MMA fighter to prove that he's not as washed up as he appears from inside a boxing ring.
Some people may be able to get away with gargling a bunch of nonsense, non-facts out of their mouth, but if you're going to do that you had better direct it at something other than MMA, because we're on point over here!
The fact is that Toney was basically abandoned by the boxing world so HE decided to pursue Dana White asking for a UFC contract of some sort.
It's obvious by Toney's appearance on Sports Soup (among other outlets) that Dana was not quick to give in to the idea. He even said to Toney in their post-UFC 108 meeting that he didn't want a "freak show" in his Octagon and he turned down many other offers from other boxers trying to get a deal with him for that very reason. He wants to make credible match-ups, not freak shows.
That alone completely discredits everything Freddy said up there...except one thing of course.
"James does not have a ground game, once he goes to the ground it's over."
Gotta give that one to you Freddie! Now start working on getting the Pacman/Mayweather fight together...