I watched in anticipation and eagerly awaited the outcomes of Karate men vs. Wrestlers to see which art held more combative truth.
Later, I bit my nails and chewed my lips as the embodiment of Evil, Tank Abbot threatened to take the throne and lay waste to the the “Myth” of Martial Arts and prove to the world, the supremacy of Street Thugs.
My palms would sweat as I wondered if champions of the Martial Path such as a young Vitor Belfort would rise to protect its Honor despite a visible weight disadvantage, as the fate of the Universe hung in the balance.
And then… Fights became mere contests between two mortal men. Talented as they may be at times and as entertaining as some fights were, the meaning was gone.
That is until recently where fights such as Lesnar vs Carwin would once again, bring me up off of my bar stool and into a screaming frenzy like a teenage schoolgirl at a Beatles concert.
UFC 118 promises yet another fight, fraught with meaning and importance.
You see, Randy Couture vs. James Toney is more than just another MMA fight. It’s a fight in which James Toney has set out to prove that Boxing is superior to MMA.
Or to put it in his words “…I represent Boxing… I’m going to destroy your so called legend.”
Am I excited for this fight?
You’re damn right I’m excited!!! There’s something so audacious about Toney, a complete greenhorn in the sport, accepting a match with one of it’s legends. And although I don’t believe for a second that the fight has any relevance for the Boxing vs. MMA debate (if there even is one), there are those for whom this fight might actually sway their opinion of the two sports. An opinion, ultimately of me, my chosen profession and my circle of friends and colleagues for whom MMA has become a way of life.
I am titillated by the idea of Couture stomping on a fighter who would show so little respect (whether intentionally or out of pure ignorance) for an art that we’ve made our home.
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love and respect the art of Boxing and would feel the same way about an MMA fighter entering the world of the Sweet Science and accepting a fight with one of it’s premiere representatives on his maiden voyage. My hope is that our champion will teach his opponent just a little more respect for this new kid on the block (MMA).
But enough of my ramblings. Let’s get to the nuts and bolts of this conflict.
Does James Toney stand a ghost of a chance against one of MMA’s greatest Heros?
I would argue that he definitely standsa a punchers chance, and that is exactly why this match up is so compelling.
In fact, a long time ago, my cousin and I came up with the “Golden bb Theory”. The proverbial little stone that could fell even the mightiest of MMA Giants. And anyone who can ball up a fist and throw, always has a chance of finding that golden bb.
But James Toney is no ordinary man, and the bombs he drops, in no way shape or form resemble a bb. A Titanium 12 gauge slug is more like it. There is a very real possibility, however remote, that Toney will find his mark with those man stoppers of his and turn the MMA world upside down.
You don’t believe me. Does Serra vs. GSP or Douglas vs. Tyson ring a bell?
There are so many external factors that make this fight intriguing.
Toney is just now beginning to delve into the main 5 areas of MMA, while the pioneers and leaders of the sport are already branching out beyond the foundational elements of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu/Submission Grappling, Folk/Freestyle Wrestling, Muay Thai, Grecco Roman Wrestling and Boxing.
Few have begun to unravel the riddle of Lyoto Machida who, in the terms of the MMA Cavemen, whom I despise, has a style that is “Karate”. Anderson Silva has recently been seen experimenting with Aikido.
All the while, Randy Couture, has sought out the help of Coach Billy Robinson to learn Catch As Catch Can wrestling techniques for his MMA game.
(You can learn more about Catch Wrestling or register for the next CACC Certification Course at www.certifiedcatchwrestler.com)
Has Toney ever experienced being pressed up against a chain link fence?
Has Couture ever experienced the sting of a Champion Boxer’s hands?
Will Toney, who seems strongest at finishing in bent arm punching range (uppercuts, hooks and overhands) be able to stop the body lock?
Will Couture be able to corner and takedown a man who’s art is known for it’s excellent footwork?
I don’t know but I am certainly excited to see and who knows, with any luck, Couture will finish Toney with a Shin Lock and Toney will proclaim his respect for the art of MMA.