Friday, March 5, 2010
James Toney signs with the UFC...and I just puked
That's right, former boxing champion James Toney officially signed with the UFC last week. The thought of this makes me sick. At least Kimbo went the TUF route, and Lesnar was a ground specialist. The fact of the matter is boxers do not translate well to MMA. While it is true Toney is probably the most talented one to make the transition, an article on Sherdog.com broke down beautifully the failure rate of boxers who have transitioned to MMA previously. Will Toney have the best hands out of anyone in the UFC? Unquestionably, but the fact of the matter is the ground game is much harder to grasp for strikers transitioning into the sport. Kit Cope, a vaunted Muay Thai practitioner, never had success in MMA because of his failure to adapt to the ground game. Ray Mercer, a former Olympic gold medalist in Boxer, was submitted by Kimbo Slice (yes, KIMBO SLICE!)in his first go at MMA. Guys that are experts in wrestling of jiu-jitsu typically have more success early on because they understand the aspect of control when it comes to combat.
This signing completely baffles me. Dana White preaches over and over how he hates freak show fights. He'll rip on guys like Herschel Walker, and even Kimbo in his early days, and then he goes and does something like this. Granted, Toney came to him, but just like our parents used to say: just say NO! This is nothing more than a sideshow attraction. Toney hasn't been relevant in boxing in years, and at 41-years-old, his success rate can't be that high. Rumors have by flying since the signing of who Toney will fight. Names such as Couture, Griffin, and Kimbo have been thrown around. If the UFC wants any chance of Toney getting a win, they'll match him up against someone who will be dumb enough to stand and trade with him. Any threat of a takedown will endanger Toney's chances of survival.
When I sit down and think about it in the sense of a sport, it would be cool to see an NCAA Division 1 Champion wrestler like Brock Lesnar face a boxing champion like James Toney. However, Toney will have to earn the right to face a man like Lesnar, and who knows if he'll make it that far. Kimbo, Toney, what's next Dana? The Green Ranger??