UFC, Boxing Stars Predict Couture/Toney Winner

This could be the last thing James Toney sees on Saturday night

Saturday night’s UFC 118 event will be known for at least one historic moment. It’ll be the first time a top-level professional boxer (or whatever James Toney is these days) steps into the cage with a top-level mixed martial artist in Randy Couture. And though the “boxing vs. MMA” debate surely won’t be settled once the dust settles early Sunday morning, it still provides a chance for top boxers and mixed martial artists to offer their opinions on the bout.

Check out the predictions below:

PHIL DAVIS

“It would be great for a guy like James Toney to build a name for himself in MMA but I’m going to have to go with Couture because of the cage experience that he has. It should be an entertaining fight. I feel like it could go the distance. I’m going to say it will go three rounds and Couture will win 29-28.” Prediction: Couture by decision

ANDRE BERTO

“I think it’s going be a good fight. Everybody knows Randy is not gonna stand up with James. If he does, it will be a short night. Most likely Randy is going to try to take James down and try to submit him so UFC can be glorified that they’re better than boxing. Hopefully James Toney has been working on his wrestling and ground skills. If so, it’ll be very entertaining.”

“TERRIBLE” TERRY NORRIS

“I just wish James luck and may the best man win. We know if it was just straight up boxing, James would knock Couture out, but James is fighting Couture’s fight and he’ll have his hands full.”

DAN HARDY

“I respect him greatly as a boxer, and I admire him for backing up his words by actually stepping into the Octagon. Floyd Mayweather talked a ton of crap about UFC fighters, but he ultimately didn’t have the balls to come and back his big mouth up. James Toney does have balls.”

CHAD MENDES

“Randy Couture will win this fight. I think he’ll win by first-round TKO.” Prediction: Couture by TKO

MIGUEL COTTO

“Two great fighters, one trained in MMA and one in boxing. In a boxing match, I give it to Toney and in an MMA fight; I have to go with the MMA fighter (Couture).” Prediction: Couture

RASHAD EVANS

“(Toney’s) inside fighting capabilities could serve him well given Randy Couture’s clinch game. Look at the Frank Mir and Shane Carwin fight – most of the damage was done to Frank Mir against the cage. But if you get a guy like James Toney who knows how to strike off the cage, and who makes a living with inside fighting … I think that could lend some promise to James Toney. It could be a short night if a guy like James Toney lands one of those shots on the inside. He’s definitely the best true boxer out there in the UFC.”

MICHAEL BISPING

“I can’t wait to see it to be honest. Can Randy double-leg him inside 10 seconds and do a number on him? Of course he can. But what if Toney lands one shot? That’s what makes this so interesting. What if?”

PAULIE MALIGNAGGI

“The problem is, most boxers, even in their prime, would not last in MMA. These guys know how to grapple and kick, and the same could be said the opposite way – no MMA guy is gonna last in the ring with a boxer if they’re boxing. You’re going into somebody else’s domain. And not that Couture is a spring chicken, but if you look at James Toney, he’s always a guy who’s been a close-range fighter – shoulder rolls, dips, counterpunches. He never really had an outside game that was so special. He had slow feet and was plodding, but he had good upper body movement. You can’t do that in MMA, especially with Couture, who was a Greco-Roman wrestler. He’ll just wrestle him, take him down, choke him or ground and pound him. I don’t see how James Toney can win the fight, even if Couture is the older guy, but the best to both guys.” Prediction: Couture

AMIR KHAN

“Toney has to make his punch count right away, but Couture will be watching for that. In any fight, you need a plan B and I don’t think Toney has one in a UFC fight.”

CARLOS CONDIT

“Wrestling will be the dominant force in this fight, regardless of how well James Toney can punch or how hard he can hit. He won’t be able to set up his shots like he would in boxing, and Randy Couture is the kind of fighter to capitalise on every little mistake he makes. Randy has made a whole career out of overcoming opponents with tactics and strategies, and Toney will probably be his easiest puzzle yet. We all know Toney has only his punching to fall back on, so Randy won’t have to work too hard to grab a hold of him and get him in his domain. Couture’s too experienced and too good at what he does.” Prediction: Couture

JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ

“James Toney is just a boxer and MMA is a whole different sport. Your skills go down in boxing when you’re worried about being taken down. I don’t think someone can come in with just one background and fight a world-class MMA fighter.” Prediction: Couture by TKO

DAVID HAYE

“I admire Toney’s courage, but six months of training isn’t going to be enough. As a UFC fan, I know two or three years wouldn’t be enough. He’s delusional here. Couture isn’t only going to end his UFC career inside a minute, he is most likely going to break James’s arm or leg and end his boxing career too.” Prediction: Couture via submission

PATRICK COTE

“If Randy underestimates his boxing skills it would be a big mistake. But how is James Toney going to react to wearing 4-ounce gloves because he’s used to the bigger gloves in boxing? He has some skills and he has punching power, but in MMA you have to be well-rounded so I think Randy will be too much for him.” Prediction: Couture


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