The professional boxer and MMA fighter hopeful, James “Light’s Out” Toney called out Dana White during UFC 108 and showed his interest in fighting as a mixed martial artist. And just recently, it was announced that Toney will be having his UFC and MMA debut on the 28th of August, in the UFC 118 event at Boston. His debut fight will be a very serious test because he will be taking on the former UFC Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight champion and Hall of Famer, Randy “The Natural” Couture.
Toney, who owns a TKO win against Evander Holyfield, is coming into the MMA world at the age of 41. Most of us might count him out. But boxers who transition to MMA either make it big or they simply get owned by more well-rounded MMA fighters. Pro-boxer Rubin Williams tried his chances when he faced MMA Legend Kazushi Sakuraba last October 2009. He was pummeled with leg kicks, taken down quickly and got submitted via kimura (arm lock) in the first round. On the other hand, former WBO World Heavyweight Champ and Olympic Gold Medalist Rey Mercer took out the former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia in just 9 seconds via knock out.
Boxers will always have the “puncher’s chance” coming into the world of MMA. And on UFC 118, we can witness a stunning upset if Toney shows his A-game. Toney needs to work on his take down and submission defense. I am expecting Couture to take the fight to the ground and use his grappling advantage over the boxer although we all know that Couture also has decent boxing skills.