While UFC 118 may be head lined by the rematch between Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn, Randy Couture and James Toney have stolen the show.
After watching "Countdown to UFC 118", my first instinct was to call this article:
James Toney: My Big Fat Belly
But that would just be silly.
I understand that the countdown is filmed well before the fight. I further understand that the producers will edit the production at their own discretion. I have witnessed (through web casts) both Mike Tyson and Dana White saying that James is in great shape. With all of that being said,
James, are you out of your fucking mind?
James spent half of the broadcast talking about how much of a beast he is. "Randy Couture ain't never faced no one like me", and I am a real fighter.
Let's take a look at James.
|Beat Randy Couture? I thought you said "eat" Randy Couture. Shit, my bad; Let's go to McDonald's.|
Toney is now representing Trevor Sherman as his head trainer. This prompts me to ask, "who the hell is trevor Sherman"? (Seriously; even Wikipedia doesn't have a listing for him). James probably has more money than God, but rather than enlisting the aid of a Greg Jackson, Dan Henderson or Jeremy Horn, he gets Trevor Sherman. Here are some other gems I picked up:
In the show, Sherman says that "Toney is a sponge; he sucks up everything". My first thought is: I believe you. he does suck up everything: pizza, burgers, chicken and waffles (c'mon now; you gotta switch things up).
Next, we get this from Sherman: "We don't want to change his game, we just want to add more tools to his tool belt".
My wife immediately asked: "why add tools to the tool belt when you are already a tool"? You hear that? My wife knows that Toney is a joke.
Finally, we finish with Sherman talking about how "James may not know the nomenclature of [ certain moves], but he can pull them off".
We're dealing with a native born English speaker that needs sub titles to elucidate whatever the hell he is saying. He may not know the "nomenclature"? He doesn't know what "nomenclature" means!
Now that I've got my rant out of the way, let's actually get to the break down.
James Toney has proven himself to be one of the most durable and long lasting figures in professional boxing. His habit of smoothly rolling with punches make incredibly slippery and hard to hit. Combine this ability with the fact that he is one of the best counter strikers the game has ever seen and you have the recipe for trouble for anyone who attempts to face him in a stand up war. This concludes all the positivity I have to offer Mr. Toney.
I am not the first to say it, but it can't be said enough. Boxing is not MMA.
Just because you happen to be a famous classical violin player doesn't mean you can pick up a guitar and play rock and roll. James Toney thinks that his boxing will be enough to make him legitimate in MMA. After all, he's been working on his take down defense for a whole 6 months.
Randy Couture is blah blah blah, yadah yadah yadah. We all know who Randy Couture is, what he is capable of, and what he will do to James Toney. I give it less than 30 seconds before Randy goes for the shot (and if strong wrestlers Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell couldn't stop him do you think Toney can?), takes Toney down and finishes it by rear naked choke.
This fight has nothing to do with Randy or James and everything to do with MMA vs boxing. It's a move, a statement, a power play. The way I see it, James embarrassed Dana White by following him around the country and calling him out. So Dana welcomes James to MMA by stacking him against one of the most experienced, well rounded, and competitive fighters that the UFC has to offer.
But here is where Dana has gotten sneaky.
If Dana wanted to make a statement, why not stack Toney up with Frank Mir? Roy Nelson? Hell, Brock Lesnar? Why pull Randy up from light heavy weight to the heavy weight division?
Because it's about spin control.
Let's say that Toney accomplishes the impossible and knocks Randy out. How much damage will be done to the reputation of MMA? So Dana has hedged his bet.
While no one can argue that Randy is in fantastic shape and remains very competitive, the fact of the matter is that he is almost 48. If Toney manages the win, it can be argued that he didn't beat a top contender in the prime of his life; he beat an "old" man closer to 50 than 40. Dana has made Randy the UFC's fall guy.
With that being said, Toney has been almost Sonnen like in the trash talk leading up to this fight, preaching his own prowess and demeaning Randy at every turn. As if the always respectful Couture didn't have enough motivation for this fight, Toney has managed to piss him off.
Randy said it best: "I don't care about knocking him out; I'm here to kick his ass".