A Heavy Load

Rumors are hard to keep in this day and age.  With the power of the internet at your fingertips, you can find out anything about anybody at any given time.

Even though Dana White has yet to confirm what we already know, it’s safe to say it maybe the most pivotal match in MMA history.

Randy Couture will present MMA at UFC 118 against former boxing champion James Toney.  Captain America vs the Detroit Motormouth.  The weight of an entire sport is resting firmly on the aging shoulders of Randy Couture.

Talk about pressure.

The seemingly endless debate of boxing vs. MMA will reach a conclusion in an intriguing battle between these over-the-hill stars.

Although I wish it were someone other than Randy Couture to get the call, but I have to say the fight makes sense.  Both guys are well past their primes and who better to test a boxer in the cage than the man who set the standard for modern-day grapplers?

Some skeptics will say that Toney is Dana White’s sacrificial lamb, but they obviously know nothing about James Toney.  He’s no slouch; not by any stretch of the imagination.

Although if you believe a traditionalist mixed martial artist, then Toney will be finished the moment he’s taken down.  James Toney has the best hands in the UFC. Hands down.  No one else in the promotion comes close.  If he lets his hands go, then it can be a nightmare for aspiring grapplers shooting for a take down.

That doesn’t bode well for Couture has been TKO’d in most of his losses.

Speaking of loses, Toney’s whiskers have never failed him.  Once he signed he immediately became the man with the best chin in the UFC stable.  Finishing him via strikes will prove to be most difficult.

Making Couture’s plight worse is that the entire sport of MMA is counting on him for the proverbial “I told you so”.  A loss suffered here will set back the sport for a long time.

Forget Sidney Crosby, Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods.  Never before has a sport been so deeply hinged on a single performance by one of its athletes.  James Toney and boxing nothing to lose in this fight.  Both will be fine win or lose.  If Couture gets put to sleep then so does MMA.  It’ll go back to being regarded as a novelty act.

If that happens neither Couture nor MMA would want to awaken from that slumber.


8 Responses to “A Heavy Load”

  1. Read your comment on the Jake Rossen article on ESPN. Can I ask you why does MMA seem to hinge on knocking boxing. Everytime it can it does it’s really gotten to the point that the casula fan is no longer listening. Dana White opted to dub the UFC “boxings killer” and I think it’s really spun out of control. A man who is not only an admittedly adamant boxing fan he actually continues to practice. Let’s be realistic you can put the 3 biggest fights UFC has to offer on 1 card on the sameday as Pacquiao vs Mayweather and I guarantee Floyd and Pac will outsell the UFC. Now it’s boxing has no more fights to offer. Wasn’t that said about Oscar and Mayweather? Boxing is like a shark tooth when one falls there’s always one ready to take it’s place. It’s been like that throughout history. Nd that 100 yearl old cop out excuse is lame. I don’t see many 100 year old walking around buying PPV events and $20k front row seats do you? Sweet & Low had a 50 some odd year head start on Splenda and Sweet & Low has now been rendered virtually obsolete practically overnight. It’s a shame that everytime boxing does a million buys or better the UFC fans and media feel the need to discredit boxing. While boxing continues to have the biggest gates, and PPV events. Las Vegas hotels and arenas around the world still would rather hold large boxing events as there live gate tends is exponentially higher, all While Dana WHite runs around blowing smoke up everyones ass with ficticious numbers. Donald Trump, Floyd Mayweather and Dana White must have all been cut from the same cloth. They billshit all day and convince people who don’t know any etter that the truth isn’t the truth, that black is actually pink and that up is really down. But I give the 3 of them credit for that Trump: in all the years since his company has been public they have yieled a positive investor return ONCE yet he somehow still convinces people to invest with him. Floyd: between fighting a 38 year old has been, smaller men and avoiding the best fighters of his era he’s somehow mangaed to convince people that he is the greatest fighter on the planet. WHite: has somehow managed to convince everyone that his company is killing boxing yet while the ultimate measuring stick in business is monetary he offers no explanations as to why his fighters don’t get paid well and why if he’s so big Oscar De La Hoya, Richard Schaeffer and Bob Arum make more money the him in multiples. The best part is Donald still has investment banks and brokers still selling his stocks, Floyd still has members of the media selling his greatness to the public, and White still has the press writing about his dominance. The fact of the matter is in the case of UFC vs boxing the only way to truly gauge who is winning is monetarily and boxing is winning hand over fist.
    UFC’s success and craze is 100% racially driven. Look this country is now, has been and for ever will be racially biased. Just look at white fighters in boxing they draw bigger purses and crowds UFC with 3 of it’s 5 champions being white simply does the same. That is somehting that just cannot be denied. It’s evident in the crowds it draws, the fans that follow and the fighters that participate. Boxing does the same with it’s Mexican fighters, Puerto Rican fighters and white fighters. Unfotunately for boxing there is a complete lack of talented white fighters. Fair or not that’s just how it is. Boxing tends to appeal to a more diverse fan base from the wealthy to the poor from black’s to whites, While statistically speaking UFC’s fan base tend to be white, and lower – upper middle class. That’s a fact.
    Let’s look at this on a more global scale. Internationally it is not now and I doubt will ever be very widely excepted. COuntries like Mexico, England, Ireland, Russia, Panama, Nicaragua, Cuba most of the “istan” countries (haha), Puerto RIco, much of Africa and the Phillipines have boxing ingrained in there culture. It’d be like trying to get Dominican Republic to start playing basketball instead of baseball. Not gonna happen. This is the one place you can use your arguement of a 100 year headstart, but at this point this isn’t a headstart as much as it is simply part of the culture. The Panamanian government gives every fighter to get a championship belt a pension for life, in most of these countries these athletes are looked up to almost like some sort of a GOd. Chavez could probably get away with murder in Mexico, Manny Pacquiao will probably become president of his country one day (sad but true NY magazine had an article about it). I mean even in Brazil a country known for it’s love of MMA Acelino “Popo” Freitas was the most highly touted athlete outside soccer in his hey day. Don’t get me started on England and how Tyson to them is literally a GOd, I mean look how they supported Ricky Hatton. Airlines had to literally schedule more flighte and routes to Las Vegas from England for the Hatton Mayweather fiasco.

    I believe UFC has a place and it’s a solid place but there is always going to be a Mayweather and a Pacquiao who is simply bigger then the entire MMA sport. Football will never have a Michael Jordan no matter what it does. It’s simply not in the nature of the sport. After Jordan left what happened? Everyone started saying “there’ll never be another Jordan.” “He”s the last of his kind.” “No one will ever be as big as him” and then what happend? In come in Shaq, Kobe and now Lebron. Why? because it is the nature of the sport. It is a sport that one man’s performance can be so dominant as to elivate him to godly status. No one man’s performance in football can do that. A QB throws for 5000 yards immiditely in the back of your mind he has great recievers and a great line, a running back runs for 2000 yards immidiately in the back of your mind he has a great o-line. A reciever has a 1,500 yard season immidiately in the back of your mind he has a great QB. While players like Lebron, Jordan and Kobe can simply take over a whole cgame single handedly. Boxing has the samething it is in the sports nature to have a guy so talented he is able to go undefeated. Factor in these foreingers colt like following and hundreds of millions of dollars a top fighter makes and you have a recipe for greatness. It is not inthe nature of the sport of MMA to go undefeated and maybe your 100 year headstart theory prevents them from having the colt following now subtract the hundreds of millions of dollars and there you have it. The awe has been taken away. Not because it is any worse of a sport but because it is not in the nature of the sport to produce these larger then life figures. I truly belive that in our lifetime there will never be one in UFC. DOn’t say Liddell or Ortiz because they are not even a fraction of a percent of what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is a guy who is so greatly reveered that he can have no singing talent put out an album put out an album and not only go platinum but win a g*d damn grammy for it. Floyd hate him or love him is alone bigger then the entire sport of UFC. Just to prove it I bet you hate Floyd more then any UFC fighter on the planet. Floyd gets more of a reaction out of UFC fans then every fighter in UFC comboned can get out of boxing fans.

    As it pertains to this article I agree 100% if James TOney loses it does nothing to boxing but if Randy Loses MMA will suffer a great deal. As Couture is widely considered one of the 5 greatest UFC fighters to ever do it Toney while great is not even in the top 70 maybe 100. And while realistically Toney can no longer be competitive with the top guys in boxing Couture has been competing at a relatively high level in his respective sport. The last time Toney was remotely competitive was in 2006.

    • James Toney isn’t a slouch. And the way the Heavyweight Division is watered down in boxing he still could compete with the top 5. But I would definitely like to get the email addresses from you and Mr. Dallas O’Mally. I’m looking to do a video series on Boxing vs MMA and I’m going to chronicle the debate for this summer coming up. You guys can reach me at




      • Dallas O'Malley Says:

        Champ you’re 100% right about Toney. He’s no push over and he could still compete in today’s heavyweight division had he not tested positive for steroids twice in recent memory. That’s the real reason I think he’s been ousted by boxing. I think it would be a good fight between him and some of today’s heavyweights like Tony Thompson or Cristobal Arreola.

        I’d like to check out your video chronicle on boxing vs. mma. Let me know when it goes up. Here’s my email address dallasomalley@rebelref.com

        Thanks for stopping by and hope to hear again from you soon.

    • Dallas O'Malley Says:

      I think both sports always take shots at each other. It’s only natural considering the nature of the two sports. I can understand your questioning of why MMA always seems to be attacking boxing’s PPV sales. I guess it’s because it is boxing is the big dog and MMA wants to prove its worth. In the end I don’t think one will conquer the other. They’re both going to level off and pretty much be equals. They’re both doing just fine now and there obviously enough market space for the both. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my end as an avid fan of both. I can certainly see both being at each other’s throats just like all of history’s greatest rivalries, but now that people are putting on shows featuring boxing and mma on the same card I think it proves that people will eventually accept both as equals.

      I think James Toney was given a gift here in Randy Couture because even though he’s a Hall of Famer he’s been almost dreadful the last couple of years. It’s been 3 years since he had a win worth talking about. I think he feels his age more than Toney does. Toney in his early 40s and both boxing and MMA have had guys compete at a high level in their early 40s. Couture is closing in on 50. That’s big difference. Just look how Bernard Hopkins looked recently against Roy Jones. When you get as old as Hopkins and Couture, defying the odds gets steeper from one match to the next. The match does make sense but if I were in Dana’s shoes I would have thrown Toney someone else. Toney is a fighter and he’ll fight anybody. He’s not going to back down so I think I would have given him someone else. Not saying Couture is going to lose but it does make me nervous.

      Also since the fact Dana White talks out of both sides of his mouth. He hated Kimbo Slice now he’s all about Slice. He was salivating to sign Fedor then when Fedor bolted for Strikeforce then he changed his tune about Fedor’s greatness. White has something up his sleeve for Toney just like he had for Kimbo. Kimbo got smashed on TUF but he still walked away with a UFC contract. I don’t like it but it is what it is. We’ll just have wait and see what happens.

      As always Ben, thanks for dropping me a line.

  2. James Toney’s split decision loss to Sam Peter back in ’06 was the last time he’s looked sharp. He went on to lose a lopsided decision to Peter, a SD win over Danny Batchelder who was an unheralded bum and lost 7 of his last 8, a devastating 3rd round TKO of a faded Hasim Rahman in ’08 was changed to a NC because of steroid use, he barely beat Fres F**king Oquendo and KO’d some idiot named Matthew Greer. Like I said ’06 was the last time he’s looked remotely good. A 5 yeaer age advantage is null and void when you consider you are asking a 41 year old man to learn an entirely new and different sport. He probably won’t get KO’d he maybe competitve in the UFC but I’m not lookign for him to do much.

    Your absolutely wrong if you think he can compete with the top heavyweights. Love them or hate them. The Klitscho’s along with David Haye, Alexander Povetkin, Tomasz Adamek and Cris Arreola would embarass Toney at this point. THe modern day James Toney is Kevin Johnson with the impenitrable defense and Vitali flat out embarassed him. Dam Peters has cleaned it up, finally, and he’ll probably KO him this time around and Eddie Chambers is too fast for his old ass. Tony Thompson and Nikolay Valuev are probably the only2 who he can hang with.

    • Dallas O'Malley Says:

      Whoa Ben. I never said Toney could compete with today’s top heavyweights. If he could he obviously would be. What I said was some of today’s heavyweights. Like guys ranked 9 or below. Cristobal Arreola fell out of the top 10 when he lost his 2nd fight in a row and Tony Thompson is a bit of a fluff in my opinion. Certainly not Vitali Klitschko or David Haye. So actually we agree by your assessment of Toney vs. Thompson and Nikolav Valuev.

      I disagree that Couture’s age is not a disadvantage for him. It’s his wrestling versus Toney’s boxing. Toney is learning a new sport but his boxing is what will win him the fight. So since it’s his art against another man’s art then age would certainly be a factor. If Couture was planning to out strike Toney then age would be no factor because he is clearly lesser skilled in that area. He’d be stepping out of his comfort zone and would be at a disadvantage against Toney no matter what age he would be. But since he’s using his wrestling pedigree to best Toney then age would have a factor. Look how bad age has affected Bernard Hopkins from say 42 years old till now which I believe he’s 45. Its been a big drop off for him. So I do think Couture’s age will cripple him. That’s my 2 cents anyway. Thanks for giving me yours.

  3. Champcreed feels Toney can comete with the top 5 heavies and that’s ridiculous.

    Couture’s experience should be more then enough to win him the fight or at the very least give him a slight edge going in. Remember Toney has NEVER been in that Octagon before. That is going to show.

    One thing about boxing would like your opinion. I’ve been reading all these UFC fans saying PAc vs Floyd is the only fight boxing has left. Personally I don’t think it’s top 5. My number 1 is Alfredo Angulo vs James Kirkland. That is the best fight boxingg could offer and would probably wind up being a triology. Remember styles make fights and these are 2 of the toughest SOB’s I’ve ever seen all they know how to do is throw punches and go forward. They are relatively unknown but as there careers progress look for it, JK will be out of jail by summer. The 2nd best fight I feel boxing has to offer is a fight that will unfortunately will never happen Klitscho vs Klitscho that’s a no brainer. 3rd best is Juan Manuel Lopez vs Yuriorkis Gamboa I mean 2 of the biggest up and coming names in boxing Juanma is pound for pound top 3 punchers in boxing and honestly Gamboa may quite possibly be the fastest fighter I have ever seen, prime RJJ is the only fighter that comes to mind who comes close. You have MArquez vs Vasquez IV I mean any 1 of there 1st 3 fights was more exciting then Mayweathers whole career. Williams vs Martinez 2. Then maybe Mayweather vs Pac honestly I think Mayweather vs Williams would be better but hey. Juan Manuel Marquez vs Manny Pacquiao. Then I’d have David Haye Klitscho, The winner of Juanma Gamboa vs the winner of Vasquez Marquez assuming he can still walk after this fight. Devon ALexander vs Marcos Maidana, Either of those guys vs Manny Pacuiao. And honetsly if COtto proves he still has somehing left and Maragarito can do the same you have Cotto vs Mayweather, Margarito vs Mayweather, Margarito vs Pacquiao Margarito vs Angulo and Cotto vs Margarito 2. Those are a lot of fights yet to be made so for someone to say Boxing only has 1 fight left is not only ignorant but is simply being said out fo pure hate. Not every fight can be a mega fight but that doesn’t mean the fight won’t be great. Gatti vs WArd was no meg fight, neither was Corrales vs Castillo or Vasquez vs Marques 1-3 or WIlliams vs martinez 1 or Daiz vs Marquez 1. Does that make those fights any less great? There are still many great fights yet to be made in boxing and from them will arise the next ODLH, Mayweather, or Pacquiao. That’s how it’s been done time and time again. It’s been boxing’s equation for the better part of the last century and I don’t really see it changing.

  4. Awe. Rebel ref you seem like a cool dude and I respect your opinions but your killing me. I understand the race card is getting old and tired, but lets not ignore facts. If you were a doctor and one of your patients had cancer everytime he complained to you it was cancer related would you stop telling him it’s cancer? ignoring the cancer or saying that it’s an old tired excuse is not going to change the fact that you he feels a certain way because of cancer. You may get tired of saying it and hearing him complain, I can give you that much but that doesn’t change the facts. Race is cancer and Unfortunately race plays a big role in our society across the board. In every single aspect of our lives. From music to politics to sports it just in us as Americans and as human beings. To ignore the fact that race plays in the UFC’s success simply would be silly. You can’t say Kelly Pavlik made $30 mil in his career because of his talent you simply can’t. He wasn’t that good and a minority with equal talent to Kelly Pavlik would have not made half that money. Jermaine Taylor didn’t make that much and JT was in bigger fights and more fight. As for the Klitscho’s, while white they are not American, America is both inherently racist as well as biased towards America. ODLH was bigger then Chavez here because he was American not because he was a better fighter. If Tito Oritz were a pure Mexican, born and raised, he would not have achieved the heights he did. I mean we need to start being more realistic. Race plays a pivotal role in society today. That’s a fact. UFC is not somehow immune to that fact. IF it were the UFC would not only be better then boxing but Dana White would have found a way to create a type of eutopia that millions of others have failed to achieve.
    The majority of white fans rooted for Mark Mcgwuire in the home run race or maybe I should say the marity of the fans rooting for him were white and American. Look at the big deal Obama has been simply because he’s white. I mean George Bush stole an election and he was less scrutinized then Obama. If Anderson Silva was white he would be exponentially bigger then he is. If Eminem were black he would not have sold half the records he did. If Kobe Bryant were white there’s be no question as to who the best player in the league was. If Mike Tyson were to have fought Tommy Morrison I think that would have been the 1st time people would want him to lose. Don’t get me wrong it’s not necessarily wrong becasue only ina eutopia would this not happen but We are human beings and our senses is what sway our biases and for most of us our 1st sense the sense we react most highly on is sight. That is a scientific fact. It is what the entire marketing industry has been based on for years. It’s why we choose to eat certain foods, it is why most white men date white women and why most black men date black women. Those are just facts and maybe I say it negatively but it’s not boxing does the samething we’re just lacking a great white fighter. I dare to say If MAyweather were white he’d probably be the highest paid athlete of all time.

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