Fans are wondering about boxer James Toney's dedication to mixed martial arts. While we still do not know how much training he is doing, a recent interview hinted that he is looking to let his punches do the talking in his debut MMA fight.
"I don't know jiu-jitsu, I don't know wrestling," Toney told MMAFighting. "All that I know how to do is fight. Period."
However, Muhammed Lawal, one of Toney's training partners, previously stated that Toney has submitted him during practice. Nonetheless, it is impossible to become an expert on the ground in such a short period of time - as Toney was signed to the UFC in early March.
The champion boxer will take on long-time UFC star Randy Couture at UFC 118 on August 28. While Couture is known for his wrestling abilities, he also has had success on his feet. Couture also sports a three inch reach advantage over Toney. While this might aid him slightly, Toney's striking prowess could likely negate Couture's the advantage.
Toney said that he has "no animosity" towards Couture and stated that he was a great fighter, however, Toney will still be looking to pull the upset in Boston, Massachusetts.
"Fans out there that don't like me?" he said. "That's real damn bad. 'Cause after August 28, ya'll really ain't gon' like me 'cause I'ma destroy your so-called legend."
Couture wasn't Toney's first choice opponent for his MMA debut. He had asked UFC President Dana White for Brock Lesnar, Chuck Liddell and Kimbo Slice. In January, Keith Jardine accepted a challenge to fight Toney, although nothing came of the encouter.
Toney also made it clear in his interview with MMAFighting that he wants to be a two-sport athlete, competing in both MMA and boxing. After his fight against Couture in August, he will return to boxing to defend his IBA (International Boxing Association) title, before returning to MMA in early 2011.