Yes, you did read that headline and no, it is not a joke.
James Toney has made good on his promise to return to mixed martial arts competition. The pudgy pugilist will climb back inside the cage to take on yet another pioneer of the fight game -- Ken Shamrock.
MMAFighting.com confirmed the match-up and spoke with Toney's trainer regarding a date and location for the contest. From the report:
"The earliest date as I know it would be late September, and the latest would be late October," said Sherman, who added that Texas, California and Nevada were the three potential sites discussed, with Texas as the most likely destination.
Also undecided is whether the match will take place under an established promotion, or as a stand-alone event of fights offered on pay-per-view. Sherman further mentioned that a reality series could be attached to the bout.
Toney's MMA debut was as comical as it was predictable. After chasing UFC President Dana White around the world and begging for a fight, the Octagon chief threw him in against legendary grappler Randy Couture.
"The Natural" proceeded to grab a toe, take "Lights Out" to the floor, pound on him a bit and submit him in short order.
While Ken Shamrock is most certainly a shell of "Dangerous Man" he once was, he's not completely shot and the former pro wrestler is smart enough to know exactly what he needs to do to win this fight.
So why bother watching if the result will be no different than Toney's first foray into the cage? Apparently he has resolved to drill drill drill his takedown defense. His manager also had this to say:
"The takedown is Ken's only chance. I respect Ken as much as I do Randy. He's one of the reasons we have this art. But he can't stand with James. Randy proved that. He didn't stand with him for 10 seconds. No one will make that mistake. I want James to go in with hands down by his waist and dare Ken to punch with him."
The MMAFighting.com report goes on to say that Toney and his team plan to use this bout as a stepping stone to bigger and better things in MMA.
As in, defeat Shamrock, take a couple fight bookings with various promotions, win a few more bouts and finally make a glorious return to the UFC.
If you're going to dream, might as well dream big, right?
Again, no date or venue has been announced for Toney vs. Shamrock but we'll pass that information along as soon as it becomes available.
Well, Maniacs, don't hold back on this one. How is everyone feeling after hearing this news?