report by Alan D. Welding
Saturday night August 28th, 2010 can be claimed by Randy “The Natural” Couture as a Boston Mass massacre. The UFC 118 fight lineup featured Couture versus the boxer Toney. For those that have always been on the UFC side of the MMA vs. boxing argument, Professor Couture took James to school quickly and efficiently.
Randy Couture took on the first professional boxer to step into the UFC arena. James “Lights Out” Toney held titles such as IBF Middleweight Champion, IBF Super Middleweight Champion, and currently holds the title as the IBA Heavyweight Champion. Couture holds a record of 29 wins and 19 losses and is a three time UFC champion. The ultimate test or the ultimate setup? Most fans questioned whether a 47 year old Couture could face or handle a punch from Toney. Others questioned whether a boxer could take on the skills of a Greco-Roman wrestler with martial arts skills. It took all of 3 minutes and nineteen seconds to answer.
Couture clearly had no plans of using a boxing style to fight Toney. He went after “Lights Out’s” legs right from the beginning to take him down within 15 seconds. Toney apparently had no training, or forgot his training, on how to defend from the ground. The chant of “UFC! UFC! UFC!” bellowed from the crowd in a self prophesized supremacy over the sweet science. Head strikes rained down on Toney’s head and created a very small cut on his dome. Couture was able to ride Toney into the cage and thus he was able to maintain control over the mass beneath his legs. Couture attempted two arm triangles with the second leading to a surrender. Apparently, James was not taught how to even signal this properly and Randy had to verbally let the referee know that Toney had said he quit. A round one win was had with a triangle choke that Couture said he had practiced for a year resulting in the first round of the boxing vs. MMA debate going to the UFC.
The event and the short time span it took for Couture to win made this writer yearn for the days when the UFC was a tournament with fewer rules. The ability to see fighters matched up more than once in a night was a real draw. Obviously though, Dana White knows what he is doing with his empire. In fact, it seems as though White’s UFC is truly winning the boxing/MMA debate simply by drawing more fans, more sponsors, and more exposure to his league. UFC 119 may not hold the same excitement as this fight did, but White is sure to entice other athletes to test their mettle in the octagon.