Couture vs. Toney
The co-main event of Saturday’s UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn 2 pay per-view is a highly anticipated bout between UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture and former boxing champion James Toney.
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This fight will be contested at heavyweight and will help settle the long-argued boxing vs. MMA debate. Due to the fight being in the octagon, Couture enters the fight as the heavy favorite with a betting line of -675 with Toney given a line of +475 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this bout, which will take place from the TD Garden in
Randy Couture (18-10-2):
Strengths: Couture is a legend of the sport and one of the most beloved fighters in all of MMA. A grinder, Couture likes to beat his opponents with his wrestling skills as well as his ability to “dirty box,” which is fighting from inside a standing clinch with inside elbows and knees. Couture is also a very tactical and intelligent fighter. He always has a solid game plan heading into a bout.
Weaknesses: At 47-years-old, Couture is no spring chicken, but he still is in great shape for his age. His speed and power have decreased and he has had to rely more on experience and cunningness to win fights the last few years. Certainly in this bout, Couture will have to avoid getting into a slugfest with Toney and stick to what he is good at.
Last Five Fights:
Second round submission win over Mark Coleman at UFC 109 on Feb. 6, 2010
Unanimous decision win over Brandon Vera at UFC 105 on Nov. 14, 2009
Unanimous decision loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 102 on Aug. 29, 2009
Second round TKO loss to Brock Lesnar at Nov. 15, 2008
Third round TKO win over Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 74 on Aug. 25, 2007
James Toney (0-0):
Strengths: Toney clearly has a strength of his boxing. He has hard and fast hands. Those hands have led him to 72 boxing wins in his career, including 44 wins by KO. Toney will have the edge on Couture with his punching, but he is going to have to land a punch, and make that punch count.
Weaknesses: Toney has never had a boxing match where he had to fight off his back and the fight doesn’t get restarted after a clinch. Toney has to adapt to a new style, not Couture. Also, Toney has a 15-minute fight where he has to come out fast. In boxing, you get 12 rounds to do your business. Really, everything is going against the boxer in this fight, except for the fact that the fight has to start on the feet.
Last Five Fights:
No MMA fights in his career
Who will win: Couture should win this fight, but in MMA upsets happen often. However, James Toney doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy to pull off this upset. He looks more like a sluggish fighter that won’t be able to stop a Couture takedown, no matter how obvious it may be. Couture is too smart to let Toney hit him clean. Look for the MMA legend to get Toney against the cage early, put his weight on him, and slowly earn a takedown before finishing him with a submission on the ground in the first round.
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Posted: 8/27/10 9:00AM ET