by James Slater – Fight fans will get to see another interesting “Boxing Vs. UFC” confrontation this coming August, when former multi-weight boxing champ James “Lights Out” Toney will make his MMA debut against Randy “The Natural” Couture at UFC 118, in Boston on Aug. 28th.
Now, I have to admit to knowing next to nothing about UFC, but I have a good friend – who, along with being a knowledgeable fan of what goes on inside The Octagon, has also dabbled with MMA himself – and he tells me Toney is in for a bad, possibly embarrassing, beating in late summer.. Although I will certainly root for Toney (being a big fan of his for a number of years), I have to say, I don’t like his chances of winning when basing them on what my friend thinks will happen.
Still, I wanted to get more opinions on the upcoming match that some fans have already labelled a “freak show of a fight.” Looking the fight up on Google, I found an interview article with UFC president Dana White; the man who agreed to let “Lights Out” into his sport in the first place. And the interview, which appeared on The MMA Hour on Monday of this week, proved very interesting indeed.
Though White – who some say has had second thoughts about having agreed to involve Toney in the sport he presides over – says he feels 47-year-old Couture should win, he also acknowledges how there is a very real possibility Toney will catch Couture on the chin and KO him.
“To be honest, who knows if he’s [Toney] going to lose?” White said this week. “I say it all the time about all different kinds of fights. You never know until they fight. He [Toney] has a puncher’s chance of course. Can he clip Couture and knock him out? Of course he could, but all signs point to Randy Couture should win the fight.”
White went on to explain how Couture is a natural wrestler, and that the older man will naturally try to make it a wrestling match in August.
“Why would I put him [Toney] in with a wrestler? Why not,” White continued. “Why would I put Randy Couture in with a boxer? This isn’t boxing, it’s mixed martial arts. Couture’s a wrestler, he’s going to try to implement his game. Toney’s going try to implement his, and we’ll see who wins.”
From reading the interview exerts with White, it sounds to me as though he, like many other people, is not so sure about what will happen when the two warriors from different backgrounds collide in Boston. And for those boxing fans who say Toney is over the hill and hasn’t KO’d or stopped anyone in a long time (2003, Evander Holyfield, for the record), it must be pointed out that against Couture, who is even older than Toney, the 41-year-old boxing great will be wearing four-ounce gloves. Is Couture capable of taking a flush blow from a Toney wearing such small mitts?
Having said that, I would in no way put money on a Toney win. The window of opportunity inside which Toney will be able to land a KO blow will be small, for as soon as Couture takes him to the ground, “Lights Out” will almost certainly be in trouble. Bottom line: I don’t have a damn clue who will win in August. But I sure will be tuning in to find out! So will my buddy, who is flat-out certain Couture will prevail.