(You’d better start sewing the dress for this little guy.)
There’s really no easy way to tell you this, so we’re just going to come right out and say it: As first reported by BJPenn.com, UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock and trash-talking boxing champ turned Randy Couture choke-victim James Toney have agreed to face each other in an MMA bout this fall. The original report pegged the match to an unnamed event in El Paso, Texas, on September 23rd, but Toney’s trainer Trever Sherman says the bout could happen in September or October, and that Texas was simply the most likely location at this point; more details will be hashed out this weekend between the two fighters’ camps.
Look, we all had a good time laughing at Toney’s misfortune after all the smack he talked leading up to his humiliating MMA debut at UFC 118. But we gotta give him credit for getting back up on the horse. And to be brutally honest, he stands a much better chance against Shamrock, who hasn’t had much success over the last few years, outside of a plodding decision over the rotund Jonathan Ivey last year. (We’re not counting Shamrock’s 2009 submission over Ross Clifton as a legitimate victory, considering he tested positive for steroids after the fight, and Clifton was just seven months away from death at the time of the fight.)
Shamrock has lost a lot of his former athleticism, and might not be able to score a takedown against Toney as easily as Couture did. Still, Sherman is expecting a similar gameplan — for both fighters: “The takedown is Ken’s only chance. I respect Ken as much as I do Randy. He’s one of the reasons we have this art. But he can’t stand with James. Randy proved that. He didn’t stand with him for 10 seconds. No one will make that mistake. I want James to go in with hands down by his waist and dare Ken to punch with him.”
James Toney already has the #1 spot locked up for the best American freak show fights in MMA history. If this fight actually comes together, I believe we’ll have a new entry at the top.