(How did I train? I didn’t train. I bought me one of these Fedor sweaters and ate ice cream for eight weeks. I’m ready to go.)
James "Lights Out" Toney Sat down with MMAFighting.com lead blogger Michael David Smith today for an online chat with fans about the boxer’s upcoming MMA debut fight with UFC Hall-of-Famer Randy Couture.
Although Toney’s responses seemed suspiciously devoid of their usual incoherency, hearing him call MMA fighters "a bunch of girls" will just add to the collective satisfaction of fans and pundits when he gets beaten by a member of the fairer sex on August 28 at UFC 118.
Here’s are Toney’s replies to fans on the chat, who incidentally obviously didn’t read Ben’s piece on what not to ask in an MMA interview.
If you win does that prove boxing is better than mixed martial arts?
James Toney: No doubt. It’s already known that boxing is better than MMA but I’ll prove that and that James Toney is the best fighter no matter if it’s boxing or MMA.
What will James do when Couture clinches on the feet and when he smothers him on the ground, meaning Couture is never going to trade with you, just smother you with wrestling?
James Toney: God bless him if he wants to try. I’m ready for anything he tries to do. Nothing he tries is going to be enough. I’ve been in there with plenty of guys tougher than him. I’m ready.
As we all know the boxing aspect of MMA is totally different from professional boxing. All the bobbing and weaving, shoulder rolling might not work when the opponent can take you down. So how has your experience been trying to adjust to leg kicks and takedowns? How has it been going for you in training, and what do you think about bobbing, weaving and shoulder rolling in mixed martial arts?
James Toney: My style is perfect for this fight. I’m ready for his leg kicks, I’m ready for him trying to shoot; I’m ready for anything he does.
Have you sparred with 4-ounce gloves, and if you have, what’s your experience regarding the power, and the lack of defense they provide?
James Toney: I don’t spar with four-ounce gloves because when I tried that at first and my sparring partners were getting hurt.What do you think someone’s going to do when I hit them with four-ounce gloves? They’re getting knocked out.
Do you think that the fans of MMA are over looking the fact that you have years of combat training? If you make this into a fight, do you think that all the supposed differences will go out the window when punches start flying?
James Toney: I feel that everybody is overlooking me. In MMA there are so many different characteristics of a fight and people think I’m not ready for it, but I’m really looking forward to showing what I can do on August 28 and showing that I’m the best in the world.
What will happen when Randy takes you down?
James Toney: If Randy takes me to the ground he’s going to have to worry. I’m not the one who’s worried about that. I guarantee you, Randy is worried. I’m not losing sleep on Randy Couture but I guarantee when he goes to sleep, he’s thinking about me. People seem like they’re forgetting that the fight starts standing up.
James, you do realize Dana White is trying to embarrass you with having you face a world-class wrestler, don’t you?
James Toney: You better realize that Dana White has just signed one of the best fighters in the world, period. And if that’s the way they’re thinking, then the one that will be embarrassed is the UFC.
How many fights did you have on your UFC contract?
James Toney: It will be 3-5. After I knock out Randy Couture I plan on coming back and fighting in October and then hopefully I’d fight Brock Lesnar in the New Year. My main goal is to stay busy and show that I’m the people’s champion either in boxing or in MMA. I’m the heavyweight champion of the world. I’m the heavyweight champion of the IBA so why can’t I be the UFC heavyweight champion? My biggest problem in boxing is that everyone is scared to fight me, so now I’m coming to the UFC to fight. I give Randy Couture all the credit in the world because he wasn’t afraid to fight me, but he’s going to get knocked out come August 28.
What MMA fighter do you think could make a successful transition to boxing?
James Toney: None of them could. MMA fighters don’t like to get hit. They can’t stand in the pocket and trade punches. MMA guys want to submit somebody or kick them like a little girl. I think Wanderlei Silva could maybe be a good boxer, and Anderson Silva would have a chance. Georges St. Pierre might too. But seriously: Can you name me one MMA fighter who can punch as well as me?
Randy has been training wrestling for decades and is considered to be one of the best Greco-Roman practitioners in MMA. How do you plan to neutralize his grappling skills?
James Toney: I’ve had a great training camp and my trainers are getting me ready to take the best of what Randy does. I guarantee, once we get in there, he can’t do too much.
How high do you rate Randy’s striking?
James Toney: He’s pretty good for a girl. He’s got the balls to fight me but there’s no MMA fighter who has the balls to trade punches with me. If they do, it’s suicide. If Randy tries to grab me I’ll hit him so hard his grandparents will feel it. I keep reminding everybody, the fight starts standing up. To shoot you have to get close and when you do, you’re going to get hurt. I’m in the business of hurting people and that’s what I’m planning on doing.
Coming into UFC is there a certain person that you would have rather fought than Couture?
James Toney: The person I wanted to fight right off the bat was Brock Lesnar. He’s a champion, I’m a champion and I wanted to do it. But they said I couldn’t do that. Then they said, "How about Kimbo?" But I said, "That’s too easy. That’s like kicking a little kid’s butt." But then Randy started saying he wanted to fight me, so I said, "OK, you’re the first one getting it."
What will be your strategy when Randy pins you against the cage and controls your arms so you can’t throw knockout punches? Also, after having not fought in a cage before do you feel that the cage could be a game changer for you?
James Toney: I’m in a cage every day. I train in a cage every day. If Randy wants to hold me against the cage, he can’t do it. I’m tougher than he is. Randy is fragile. People think Randy is a god in the MMA world, but in the boxing world he’d be considered a journeyman – a bum. How many knockouts does he have, nine or 10? And people think he’s a Hall of Famer? In a real sport you’ve got to be retired before you’re in the Hall of Fame? When I fight Randy he won’t be Hall of Fame, he’ll be Hall of Shame.
Are you prepared for [three] 5-minute rounds of MMA fighting or are you essentially looking at the attempt to knock out Couture as soon as possible?
James Toney: I’m prepared to go however long the fight takes. I’ve got the best conditioning coach in the world. Every day my trainer puts me through hell and back. Everybody calls me fat and all that? Watch me at the weigh-in on August 27 and see how much I weigh.
Freddie Roach commented that the most difficult aspect of boxing for MMA fighters to understand is the distance between you and your opponent; did you encounter the same problem when transitioning to MMA?
James Toney: I’m not worried about distance. Randy better make sure he’s not in my range. I’m a real fighter. I’ll do things you haven’t seen in 40 years. I’m an old-school fighter, and all the other old-school fighters are dead.
Do you think you would continue an MMA career after the fight with Couture?
James Toney: We’re in the process of figuring that out right now, but I told Dana my goal is to hold the heavyweight championship of the UFC and in boxing at the same time. So as long as it takes me to get Brock Lesnar, that’s how long it’ll be. If Lesnar gets by Cain Velasquez, I’ll fight Lesnar in February or March. But right now my focus is on Randy Couture. Randy’s gonna get it. I ain’t playing with that dude. I like Cain Velasquez, and I think he has the ability to knock Lesnar out. I think that fight is a toss-up. Lesnar ran away from Shane Carwin like a girl, but then Carwin ran out of gas and quit. But I’ll fight any of them, any time anywhere. That’s my motto.
What do you have to say about the comments made by Joe Rogan regarding your chances against Brock Lesnar? Comments such as, "…[Brock’s] going to do whatever he wants to [Toney]. He’s going to have [James Toney] work for him… Lesnar is going to be [Toney’s] master. He’s going to put a dog collar on [Toney]. He’s going to do whatever the F*** [Lesnar] wants”?
James Toney: When did he say that? I was just with Joe Rogan a few days ago and he didn’t say that to me. But everybody’s got their opinions.
Do you realize if you get taken to the ground you have no chance?
James Toney: I’m very comfortable on the ground. I’m not worried about that. If I couldn’t fight on the ground I wouldn’t be fighting in MMA. I’m a born fighter and somebody like me comes along once every 30 years.
[Are] there any MMA [fighters] who you like to watch fight?
James Toney: Absolutely. Everybody has this misconception I don’t like MMA. I love MMA. I love Georges St. Pierre, I love Rich Franklin, I like BJ Penn, I like Anderson Silva, Rampage Jackson, Rashad Evans; I like a ton of these guys. I don’t have a problem with those dudes. MMA is a great sport.
Is it true that you tapped out King Mo?
James Toney: It’s true. I’ve been training with King Mo, I’ve been training with some good King of the Cage fighters, and I’ve been doing well. Ask them yourself, they’ll tell you.
After you lose do you plan on apologizing for all the disrespect you’ve shown?
James Toney: Kiss my behind (editor’s note: I’m betting Smith censored his actual reply). Other people should be apologizing to me.
What is your Silva vs. Sonnen prediction?
James Toney: Good fight. Silva is similar to me except that I’m a hell of a lot better fighter than Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen is a hell of a lot better wrestler than Randy Couture.
Joe Rogan didn’t say those things. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2iqJPiggyc
What kind of submission did you use [to tap out King Mo]?
James Toney: guillotine choke
What does a kick feel like compared to a punch? Ray Mercer got kicked on the top of the head in a kickboxing match and didn’t even know where he was after it.
James Toney: I’m not a kicker so I’m not worried about kicking. I’m not trying anything new. I don’t need to. (editor’s note: I’m betting Smith didn’t censor his actual reply)
Why do MMA when you are a great boxer and make more money in boxing ?
James Toney: I can make more money in boxing if I become the heavyweight champion of the world, but I came in because Dana White brought me in here and I have something to prove.
Who do you think is the pound-for-pound fighter in MMA and in boxing?
James Toney: James "Lights Out" Toney. I’m the champ. I’ve had 32 title fights.