UFC 118 - Penn vs Edgar 2 / Couture vs Toney

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Former UFC champion Randy Couture (18-10 MMA, 15-7 UFC) has been targeted for participation in the UFC's first trip to Boston. And if he gets his wish, the UFC Hall of Famer may get to face former boxing champion James Toney.

Fighters Only first reported the possibility of Couture's participation on the card. While no opponent has been finalized, Couture has repeatedly expressed a desire to face the former boxing champion.

Although not officially announced, UFC 118 is expected to take place Aug. 28 at the TD Garden in Boston. Two high-profile lightweight fights are currently on tap for the Northeast event: newly minted champion Frankie Edgar fights the man he deposed for the belt, B.J. Penn, in an immediate rematch of their recent UFC 112 bout, and two-time contender Kenny Florian faces standout Gray Maynard.

Toney, 41, won a UFC contract in early March after a protracted trash-talk campaign against UFC president Dana White and several mixed martial arts fighters. The former boxing champion sought the guidance of boxing and MMA coach Juanito Ibarra and at several points welcomed a fight with Couture (though he called out virtually every MMA star he could name).

Toney is currently training with Ibarra in Southern California as he prepares for his MMA debut.

Couture, 46, railroaded fellow UFC Hall of Fame member Mark Coleman in his most recent performance at UFC 109. The win shook off controversy that lingered after his prior appearance, a close decision victory over Brandon Vera at UFC 105 this past November, and put him on track for a shot at the 205-pound title.

When Toney signed, however, Couture expressed an immediate interest in welcoming the boxer to MMA.

Couture lost his heavyweight title to current champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 91. A subsequent setback against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 102 prompted a move to the 205-pound class.

He remains one of only two men to hold titles in two different weight classes (He won light heavyweight gold three times with wins over Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz and Vitor Belfort and heavyweight gold against Maurice Smith, Kevin Randleman, Tim Sylvia and Gabriel Gonzaga).

A part-time actor in addition to his pugilistic responsibilities, Couture's new movie, "The Expendables," is set to premiere on Aug. 12, a little more than two weeks before UFC 118.

UFC 118 is the first major MMA event to arrive in Massachusetts. This past November, the state's governor, Deval Patrick, signed into law a bill that calls for the Massachusetts State Boxing Commission to become the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission and oversee MMA events.

TD Garden, an indoor venue that is home to the NBA's Boston Celtics and NHL's Boston Bruins, has a maximum capacity of more than 19,000.


Edited by Rappy
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Just make Kimbo fight Toney. That would sell the PPV like candy. Making Couture fight Toney would be throwing Toney into the deep end and destroying any chance of making him a draw (a freakshow draw but nonetheless a draw).

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I think the UFC has plenty of draws. They are going to use Toney as an example of why MMA is superior to boxing. The problem is that Couture is not the fastest guy, he's pretty old, and his jaw is a bit suspect. If Couture toys with Toney and gets clipped, it's going to be lights out.

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Randy Couture?s contract has been signed, sealed, and delivered to face former pro boxer James Toney at UFC 118 on August 28 at the TD Garden in Boston, the fighting legend confirmed on Tuesday.

Following internal discussions between the camps and promotion regarding a catch-weight for the bout, Couture, who turns 47 on June 22, said he?ll face Toney at heavyweight. Sherdog has not yet been able to ascertain if Toney has submitted his bout agreement as well.

The 41-year-old former IBF middleweight and super middleweight champion signed a multi-fight contract with the promotion last March following the boxer?s public campaign to join the UFC?s ranks. Toney attended back-to-back UFC events in November and December, and video of White and Toney in impromptu discussions even surfaced online.

Toney?s flirtation in the UFC has been ongoing, while a bout with the four-time Olympic wrestling alternate the has loomed for years. In October 2006, Couture said he was called by the promotion with a potential bout against the pro boxer that never came to fruition.

The bout marks Couture?s third stint in the promotion?s heavyweight division. Since losing the title to current heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 in November 2008 and a unanimous decision defeat to Pride Fighting Championships counterpart Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Couture has notched back-to-back wins against Brandon Vera and Mark Coleman in light heavyweight bouts. Couture submitted the fellow UFC Hall of Famer in the second round at UFC 109 last February.

Couture will also juggle publicity duties for the Aug. 13 wide release of ?The Expendables,? the Sylvester Stallone-helmed action film, which Couture has a supporting role in.

Source: Sherdog

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BOSTON ? You can call it the end of an era.

Granted, that era lasted all of 3 minutes and 19 seconds, but it's still over.

After James Toney (0-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) was forced to tap out (or wave out, if you choose to be technical) in the first round of his UFC 118 contest with Randy Couture on Saturday night at Boston's TD Garden, White said he's done with boxers making their way to the organization ? no matter who it is.

"I thought we answered this question in 1993, but James came out and he picked a fight," White said. "We answered the question again in 2010. I don't think it needs to be answered again. I don't care if it's (Floyd) Mayweather or anybody else."

It was in 1993 that a boxer appeared in the very first UFC event. Art Jimmerson's infamous one-gloved approach to the fight is an iconic image in the history of the sport.

Melton Bowen would later appear at UFC 4, where he was defeated by Steve Jennum.

Toney, of course, is one of boxing's all-time greats. But at 43 years old and 70 pounds heavier than he was at the time his illustrious prizefighting career began, "Lights Out" was simply too advanced in age to begin a real run at mixed martial arts success.

But White says he's not even interested in hiring a top boxer in his prime because single-disciplined fighters simply can't win in MMA.

"It's unfair to bring a guy in with one discipline, no matter if he's trained for eight or nine months," White said. "I wasn't the guy going out there and trying to badmouth boxing and take boxing down and hurt the sport of boxing. James Toney picked a fight, and he got one.

"I don't see [other boxers] ever doing that, coming out and whatever. James Toney is the guy that's crazy enough to come out and do this. He picked a fight, he got one, and we won't be doing any more boxing."

From the very day the fight was announced, White openly called the contest a "freak show." But the UFC boss admitted than even though he felt confident his Hall of Fame fighter would defeat Toney, as Saturday night approached, he became more and more tense.

"I didn't try to sell this thing as 'Tune in on Saturday night, and you're going to see the most spectacular battle or war,'" White said. "I basically said what I was hoping would happen. Anything can happen in a fight.

"We're not after boxing. We're not trying to attack boxing. I love boxing, and I thought this question was answered back in 1993, but I've got to be honest. As we got closer to the fight, my stomach hurt, and I was a little dizzy. I was nervous. Mixed martial arts stepped in there against a boxer, but at the end of the day, it's a fight. Anything can happen in a fight."

Some MMA observers believed a loss for Couture would have been catastrophic for the sport. White said his nervousness was based on something entirely different.

"What was I nervous about?" White asked MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "That I'd have to deal with James Toney for the next year.

"It's been a fun ride with James. It's been very interesting. He's a nutty guy. I was nervous for that fight."

White made it clear he didn't want any of his comments regarding Toney to be considered a sign of disrespect. Instead, he held praise for the boxer even though he did duck out an a scheduled appointment at the evening's post-fight presser.

"He's a tough guy, and he's been around for a long time, and I love him," White said. "I have a lot of respect for James Toney. When you come in with one discipline, you can't expect the guy to come in and have great ground work. You know what? He stepped up. He wanted to do it, and he did it.

"He hung in there longer than I thought he would. I'm sure he was as prepared as he could be. Anybody that knows James Toney over the past few years knows that James isn't the most physically fit boxer on the planet. But let me tell you what, when I signed him in my office, he's lost a lot of weight since that day. He took it serious, he went out there, and he gave it a shot."

Nevertheless, that shot missed the mark, and White says he's done with Toney.

"He's the IBA and NABO heavyweight champion," White said. "He's a boxer, and that's what he does."

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Aha! My predictions were 100% correct. BJ looked like he had given up after his takedown at the start of the 5th round failed. Couldn't understand a word of what Toney said after the fight.

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Co-headliners James Toney ($500,000) and Randy Couture ($250,000) garnered the most attention heading into this past weekend's UFC 118 event, and they also walked home with the evening's largest disclosed checks.

MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently requested and today received the list of officially disclosed paydays from the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission.

The total disclosed payroll for the Aug. 28 event was $1.428 million.

Toney and Couture accounted for 52.52 percent of the disclosed figures.

UFC 118 was the first trip to Massachusetts for the world's biggest mixed martial arts promotion. The event took place at the TD Garden in Boston, and the main card aired live on pay-per-view. A pair of contests were also featured on Spike TV.

In a bout UFC president Dana White openly referred to as a "freak show," Couture took Toney down easily and submitted him in the first round. While the contest was only a co-feature, it netted the most attention in the days prior to the fight.

Meanwhile, in the main event, Frankie Edgar proved his April win over former champion B.J. Penn was no fluke. The new champion dominated "The Prodigy" for five rounds en route to a unanimous-decision win.

Edgar took home $96,000 for his effort, while Penn was issued a $150,000 check.

The total paydays included:

Frankie Edgar: $96,000 (includes $48,000 win bonus)

def. B.J. Penn: $150,000

Randy Couture: $250,000 (no win bonus)

def. James Toney: $500,000

Demian Maia: $68,000 ($34,000 win bonus)

def. Mario Miranda: $8,000

Gray Maynard: $46,000 ($23,000 win bonus)

def. Kenny Florian: $65,000

Nate Diaz: $60,000 ($30,000 win bonus)

def. Marcus Davis: $31,000

Joe Lauzon: $24,000 ($12,000 win bonus)

def. Gabe Ruediger: $8,000

Nik Lentz: $22,000 ($11,000 win bonus)

def. Andre Winner: $10,000

Dan Miller: $30,000 ($15,000 win bonus)

def. John Salter: $8,000

Greg Soto: $12,000 ($6,000 win bonus)

def. Nick Osipczak: $10,000

Mike Pierce: $24,000 ($12,000 win bonus)

def. Amilcar Alves: $6,000

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