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By All Means, Let James Toney Get His Ass Kicked in the UFC


(Ariel Helwani gets his interview time with Dana White rudely interrupted.)

The entertaining little mating dance between Dana White and James Toney may have finally reached the point where a decision is inevitable. After Toney materialized in Las Vegas this weekend to call out DW yet again, it ought to be clear enough that he isn’t going to get bored and lose interest all on his own. Partly that’s because Toney probably doesn’t have a whole lot else going on in his life, but partly it’s because, whatever you think of his abilities as a fighter, dude is persistent.

If White doubted that before, he doesn’t after Toney appeared like a mumbling angel on his shoulder this weekend. It’s time to either set the guy up with a fight or else stop letting him into these damn press conferences.

Since option number two is obviously no fun, I vote for option number one. Toney may be a 41-year-old, semi-brokedown former boxing great. His best years, along with his days of speaking clearly and coherently, may be behind him. If he were signing on to fight for another MMA organization, White would be quick to cite all that as evidence that his competitors don’t respect the sport or its fans.


That’s more of rhetorical technique than anything White really, truly believes. He’s a fight promoter, after all. Sooner or later some pro boxer is going to fight in the UFC, and that’s the way it should be. As long as Bruce Buffer gets on the mic before every main event and refers to the Octagon as the world’s ultimate “proving ground” for fighters, it only makes sense to let a delusional boxer or two wander in and find out just how much they don’t know about mixed martial arts. And as long as it’s going to happen eventually, why not let it happen to Toney?

In the past, White’s argument against this has been that boxers don’t really want to make a career out of MMA. They want a quick paycheck and they want people to pay attention to them again. Surely, that’s also the case with Toney. But so what?

All that means is that the UFC has no vested interest in giving him the Kimbo treatment and setting him up with an opponent who can’t exploit his weaknesses. They can give him someone with great takedowns and vicious ground-and-pound, someone who can put him on his back and turn his face to pulp. That’s going to be a bad night in Toney’s life, and it probably won’t do much to convince the boxing die-hards that MMA is more complex than they think. Again, so what?

If Toney wants this beating so bad that he’s willing to put on tie and pester White wherever he goes, let him have it. A certain segment of the population that doesn’t normally watch MMA might tune it to see it, and – who knows? – they might even like it. Either way, it’s easier than a restraining order and it will get Toney to leave DW alone. My guess is that after he gets a taste of what it’s like inside the cage, he won’t want another.

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agentsmith- January 5, 2010 at 5:51 am
@ Joedirt:
Japan is not the UFC. They let Jose Canseco fight over there.
ghostboner- January 4, 2010 at 3:20 pm
Give him Randy Couture. Randy could use an easy one. Or better yet Give him Roy Nelson. Grease Roy up and let him "lay on top Toney like a fag".
Catalyst8487- January 4, 2010 at 3:18 pm
@RockySteady

Kongo is a great choice IMO. the UFC really can't do anything with him right now unless another lower tier guy comes back like Herring. If Toney can take down a guy with good stand up and kicks, then move him up the ladder to a guy with a shoot and a submission or two. Stephan Stuve maybe?

you just got pieced up homey- January 4, 2010 at 3:03 pm
Dear god another washed up has been who doesn't know when to let it go. Do we really need another Ken Shamrock or Tito Ortiz in the UFC? Guys who have continued to embarass themselves well past their prime. If they want to bring in legit boxers then do so. Silva has said many times he'd like to fight Mayweather Jr. Bring in someone who is still relavant and can move without a walker. Bottom line Toney needs to sit his old ass down and be a spectator not try and be a participant in a sport he has no business being in.
Joedirt- January 4, 2010 at 2:06 pm
agentsmith, would it de-legitimize the sport for a former olympic judoka to enter and compete even if he is over the hill? It didn't. So what's the difference... it is a fighter with the background of only one discipline. However I do think Toney is biting off more than he can chew. The only boxers that have shown any interest are washed up. The boxers that are world class (still) are making way to much money to even consider MMA. (regardless of how they would do)
agentsmith- January 4, 2010 at 1:19 pm
I say let him fight... but only if he wears one boxing glove.

Seriously, come on, this is just plain silly. It de-legitimizes the UFC to even consider such a freakshow... it'd make more sense to sign Ray Mercer, at least he's fought in MMA before, and KO'd a former UFC champ too.

Sure Toney's got a "puncher's chance", but we all know what happens to punchers who can't defend a takedown. I'd laugh my ass off to watch Brock take this loudmouth down and pound his head flat in 20 seconds or less, but it would prove little. The boxing crowd could still justifiably dismiss it because he's over the hill.
ihateemo- January 4, 2010 at 12:32 pm
By all means let him get his ass kicked, and let him be paid like someone who's never fought MMA in their life.

$10k/show and $10k/win sounds fair. Is he still as enthusiastic?
robthom- January 4, 2010 at 11:52 am
Yeah! You idiots on the internet, get your shit together!

I love James Toney!

I would love to see him get his ass kicked in the UFC. Or trasketball, one or the other. Both!

If he can negotiate realistically for his fee he'd be a lot more legitimate as a fight and for expanding the market than the Jose Conseco's, Kimbo Slice's, pro-rasslers, etc.
sPeLLcHeCkEr- January 4, 2010 at 11:24 am
Toney. Titties. UFC 115. Order it on pay-per-view.
MMA42- January 4, 2010 at 11:19 am
I said it before I'll say it again: Charity fights! Anderson Silva v James Toney. How can you not go wrong with that. Silva wants to fight a heavyweight? Here's a good start.
DaltonSwayze- January 4, 2010 at 11:17 am
Why does anyone think that Toney will have awesome knockout power? He showed his age when the slowest man in America, Sam Peter, got the decision and then confirmed it with a whipping.

I think some top boxers would be destroyers in MMA, but Toney's not one of them. That is to say, he's no longer a top boxer, and arguably was never a top heavyweight
sPeLLcHeCkEr- January 4, 2010 at 11:06 am
FEED TONEY TO TITTIES!!!

Er, I'm sure Ray Mercer is somewhere in a fit of rage right now.
Blinknyrout- January 4, 2010 at 10:57 am
I say let it happen. From a business aspect it's a win/win. If Toney comes in and gets destroyed, White can say I told you so and if any other boxers want to come in and try have at it. If and that's a big if Toney catches someone and puts them out, then other boxers will say I can do that too and want to try MMA. Either way it brings in a lot more viewers. Kimbo brought in the mainstream people that are watching today. That being said as a old school MMA guy I can't stand some of these guys coming in and thinking they can compete. If Kimbo or Toney wants to come in then do what Pride did to Chuck when he went to compete over there and put them up against the top tier people in their respective divisions, not brawlers like Alexander.
El Famous Burrito- January 4, 2010 at 10:44 am
Let him fight!

It's Mixed Martial Arts, right? Boxing is a martial art. Let him test his abilities in the Octogon where UFC can make a ton of money. Every other guy on that card would benefit in sponsorships and attention.

If James Toney getting in the Octogon opens the door for more boxers to cross the line, then by all means, let him do it.

Organ Donor- January 4, 2010 at 10:43 am
Feed him to Cro Cop.
RockSteady- January 4, 2010 at 10:42 am
give him Kongo, Heath Herring or maybe even Gonzaga
provrorsbarn- January 4, 2010 at 10:23 am
I think the UFC should go more to the entertaining side of MMA like they do in Japan...just a bit.....cuz they already have kimbo....and we all know his mma skills are bad, so why not go all the way.... put together some crazy fights ala "crazy hulk tournament style"
BEAM- January 4, 2010 at 10:19 am
I didn't think it was possible to spice up a Dana White interview but apparently I was wrong.

I agree he should let it happen. Worst case scenario we get some comic relief.
NECROPHYTE- January 4, 2010 at 10:19 am
Hell, let him fight a lower level guy and Toney will still lose. Even Wes Simms would fuck his Universe up.
skeletor- January 4, 2010 at 10:17 am
He's an undercover spy for strike force mark my words. UFC sent in Henderson SF sent in Toney. Fucking Diabolicle Geniouses!
meanfinger- January 4, 2010 at 10:15 am
have u guys every heard of a punchers chance?

if they throw him in there with a contender what will that prove?? guaranteed if he was fightin on this last card we would be talkin about his fight more than silva gassin out, and daley missin weight and still gettin his K.O of the night bonus..

i think they need to put him in there with maybe a dos santos ( kinda a contender but still a lil green) but a great matchup i think, or maybe a kimbo to sell some tickets...

either way.. this is for money people. not for a belt or a legit fighting career...

pull your heads out your asses
One Two- January 4, 2010 at 10:13 am
Whats this disgraceful talk its not like the UFC is some elite fucking organization to get into. some of its fighters are straight up bums, remember that eddie Sanchez guy? at least toneys good at something maybe he'll knock a few guys out maybe he'll get choked out either way i wouldn't mind seeing it.
Uncle.Sams.Misguided.Child- January 4, 2010 at 10:10 am
Let it happen you've already stained the sheets with Kimbo its not like DW and UFC are some sort of purist organization (again Kimbo). This will be great for ratings but the only problem is that its a lose lose situation for the UFC if Tony wins than boxing>MMA if he loses than..... ohh its because it was an over the hill James Toney put a real boxer in there and well see an MMA fighter get knocked out. So I am conflicted here but I think Toney vs Dos Santos is an alright match up maybe even Gonzaga.
NECROPHYTE- January 4, 2010 at 10:07 am
Let the bitch-ass fight and get laid out. That'll be fun to watch.
831 Son- January 4, 2010 at 10:05 am
Toney throws some heat with those hands of his, but MMA will fuck this dudes world up.
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