In what could be either the biggest debacle in UFC history or one of the most exciting fights ever, mixed martial arts Hall of Famer Randy Couture will take on boxing enigma James “Lights Out” Toney in an upcoming bout. The 41-year-old Toney makes his MMA debut against the 47-year-old Couture in Saturday’s UFC 118.
Toney, who has some of the heaviest hands in boxing, feels he has enough thunder in his punch to knock out Couture even from his back. But in a recent interview, Couture told MMA Junkie, “I’m not terribly concerned. I’ve been in there with a lot of big, strong guys—and had them on their backs—who I’m sure hit just as hard as James does. Technique changes when you’re laying on your back or sitting on your butt. The mechanics of a punch are different in those circumstances. Certainly I have a game plan for the ground, and I’m not terribly worried about being knocked out from that position.”
Couture went on to explain the difference in stance for an MMA fight versus a boxing match. “There definitely needs to be some adjustments made,” he said. “There are a couple other things that need to be accounted for with that particular stance and style of boxing, and I think that’s what a lot of boxers in general, when they look at MMA, fail to understand.
“With the takedowns and the punching and the kicking and the dirty boxing and clinchwork that takes place in mixed martial arts, you have to change your stance. You have to change your fighting style”
Without question, both fighters are dedicated to their craft, and we applaud their courage to take the fight. Hopefully, it won’t end in 14 seconds, as UFC President Dana White predicts. Anything can happen in the octagon—just ask Herschel Walker or former heavyweight boxer Ray Mercer.
UFC 118 will be available Saturday, Aug. 28, on Pay-Per-View. To whet your appetite for the action, check out how hardcore grapplers train on STACK TV’s Wrestling Channel.