Monday, August 30, 2010

Toney not the only fighter who got his lights turned out

Like many I was eagerly anticipating UFC 118 as the headline matches had great storylines but unfortunately unlike most MMA fights these left something to be desired. Much like a $49.95 PPV boxing match that doesn’t deliver, this was in the same class. Perhaps James “Lightsout” Toney did bring an element of boxing to the ring after all, because he didn’t bring any other skills en route to a microwave fight with Randy Couture who clearly demonstrated why Boxers should stay in the ring and out of the octagon. Although RC was pushing fiddy’ in age he was still the favorite as many thought if he was able to get to Toney’s legs that it would be short work. JT talked way too much Smac even for a boxer, as he had to know he would be a fish out of water if the bout made it to the mat, and within seconds of the first round that’s exactly where they were with JT trying to fend off getting choked out. This is what the MMA fighters have been screaming all along, that some styles should just not mix. You’re taking a discipline that trains its athletes strike, choke, and force your opponent into submission as opposed to being trained to feint, jab, counter, and hold if you get out of position. In MMA if you get caught out of position, you will find yourself tapping out real soon as Toney found out. Don’t get me wrong if the roles were reversed the outcome would have been the opposite because Couture would not have been able to defend the power punches of Toney without the ability to shoot his legs and take him to the ground, but that’s the very point, you’re trying to take a street fighter out into the street where almost anything goes. Perhaps this will send a message to other boxers that are thinking of taking this up as a hobby after their real careers are over. In case you got confused by the sideshow that was the preliminary bout, you missed the passing of the torch as Frankie Edgar dismantled BJ Penn for five consecutive rounds to win a unanimous decision for the second consecutive bout between the two. And don’t feel bad because ESPN and most sports shows did as well as they all began the MMA segment with undercard bout, which was completely missing the point of a World Title Fight. To be honest it’s a shame to see possibly the greatest middleweight this sport has seen burn out so quickly but Penn was never in this fight or the first and it’s time to stop talking about what was and start talking about how Edgar may be the future. Should boxers, football players, or other athlets try to get into MMA? Let us know here and in the MMA chat rooms.
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Is Toney the right choice for boxing to take on the MMA?

The banter began when Floyd Mayweather said that MMA was for the fighters who couldn’t “hack” boxing and it has been escalating ever since. The latest exchange has come between UFC President Dana White and former three-time world champion James “lights out” Toney, who initiated the banter by calling out several MMA fighters that he could and would knock out if pitted against, ahead of his bout with Randy “the natural” Couture and then White countered by stating that Toney would get his #$% kicked on August 28. RC has also chimed in by stating that he heard Toney was talking smack (no pun intended) so “let’s do it”. The very intrigue of mixed martial arts is trying to figure out which style or discipline would be able to enforce it’s will when matched up in the octagon. Now we will have perhaps the two most prominent, with boxing and wrestling. However there is so much more riding on this bout than bragging rights, ad what we’ve seen are two sports heading in different directions as MMA has experienced unprecedented growth while boxing continues to struggle without many likable or bankable stars like Mayweather. Moreover, their lack of ability to make big fights happen has crippled the sport at the ticket counter. Some of the criticism of boxing comes from fans who now watch MMA because of the lack of action in some boxing matches. So now is the chance for boxing to either get some of it’s “street cred” back or take a huge step back to the new kid on the block. Now the lingering question, in a bout with so much significance and potential history, is James Toney (72-6-3) at 41 years-old the best man to represent the sport? I would normally say no but at 47 Randy Couture is no spring chicken either and if ‘styles make fights’ then this is actually a pretty good opponent for Lightsout to face. I realize for a time RC was carrying the flag for the UFC, but in addition to a modest 18-10 record, only one of those wins has come by a submission, which is the ONLY advantage to a wrestler taking on a boxer, because they’re allowed to strike and choke out even when on the ground. So if they stand upright then Toney’s 44 knockouts comes into play and with only 4 ounce gloves (boxers normally wear 10) if Toney manages to catch Couture it will truly be lights out. So although he couldn’t pay his own way into a bout for one of the heavyweight belts, James Toney may end up added a fourth from a very unexpected place. Who do you think will be able to enforce their will in the Toney/Couture match? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hollywood takes the Rage out Jackson

The much anticipated battle at UFC 114 between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans wasn’t quite the “World War” it was cracked up to be but there were several engaging moments and the pure hatred between them made for a great atmosphere, but it was clear that Jackson’s brief hiatus as BA Baracus clearly affected his performance. Evans was able to maneuver Jackson where he wanted him and forced him to fight his kind of fight, on the mat, where he could outwork his opponent without fear of the one strike that could slip in and turn the fight. It’s no secret that Evans’ main weapon are his wrestling skills and his ability to inflict is will really neutralized Jackson, reducing him to an excuse filled ex-champion. “I focused really hard and I trained really hard on this fight, but me having this damn movie and everything -- I kind of almost regret doing the damn movie now,” said Jackson. “There was so much pressure. (20th Century) Fox kind of threatened to sue me if I lost and everything because they didn’t know I was fighting.” So now he’s pissed off the brass in Hollywood so he won’t be working (acting) any time soon, and Evans will probably move on to take on Shogun so he won’t get his shot at redemption in the ring any time soon as well. Meanwhile Evans will look to the light heavyweight division for another title where he lost only one fight in his 4 1/2-year career, but Evans has yet to face a fighter like Rua -- who engages with a lightning fast, chaotic speed. I don't think Evans will be able to implement his typical game plan of clinching and wrestling, with a sprinkle of striking thrown in for good measure. This might have worked with slower-paced fighters like Forrest, Rampage and Thiago Silva, but he'll certainly have trouble dealing with Shogun's quickness. As far as Rampage (and Chuck Liddell) are concerned this is a testimony to the fact that you can’t do this part time, because there’s too many fighters that are poor and hungry and want to stop eating spam out of a can, and want the cameo’s, cars, money and fame. If you have what it takes to get into Gekko’s office you can’t let up once you get to the top. Frankly, RJ using the A-Team as an excuse makes him look like a punk b%^*@. He knew he had a war on his hands and simply didn’t put the time in and got worked. This was about sellin’ out for the pay day, and you got it, so man up, say you’ll train harder next time, and set up round 2. But to first blame it on your shooting schedule and the demands of your film company sounds like Lindsay Lohan trying to get out of rehab. C’mon Page, you’re better than that. So will we see a rematch or now that Evans has all the clout he needs will he move on and pursue another belt? Does Chucky make a comeback in 115? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.

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