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UFC Signs Boxing Champion James Toney, Debut Date Uncertain

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Jride

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After a long period of off-again, on-again courtship, the UFC has pulled the trigger and signed 41-year-old boxing champion James Toney.

UFC President Dana White confirmed the signing to MMA Fighting after it was first reported by FiveOuncesofPain.com.

Toney had actively campaigned for a contract from the UFC, following White around the country to several events and eventually meeting with him. Toney reportedly turned down at least one contract offer before signing.

Asked when Toney would debut, White said he had "no idea."

With a professional boxing record of 73-6-2 with one no contest, Toney is among the great boxers of his era, winning titles in six different weight classes ranging from middleweight to heavyweight.

In the past, White noted that he'd have some trouble passing Toney off as a legitimate mixed martial artist after criticizing other late career changers like Herschel Walker, but he always voiced an interest in Toney as a "real fighter" capable of making the transition.

Toney has reportedly been training in MMA for some time in hopes of making his octagon debut. Now it appears he'll finally get the chance he's campaigned for.

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Last edited 3/3/10 4:52PM server time by Jride
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Post #1   3/3/10 4:51:21PM   

icantthinkofanything

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I am shocked because Dana made Toney an offer, and Toney thought it was a joke. I thought Toney was expecting millions of dollars, and Dana would not pay for an inexpercied mma fighter who crossedover from boxing. I also thought since Toney is in his 40's, this was a no go.


I hope Dana White is not paying much more than he would pay any other mma fighter...

Although I really wish UFC payed more. We could get more of the strongest and Athletic competition.( like Lesnar who won the belt in 3 fights lol)

Post #2   3/3/10 5:13:18PM   

State_Champ

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James Toney vs.....Kimbo!?!

Post #3   3/3/10 5:24:58PM   

BustedKnuckle

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OMFG!!!!!!!! Unless this is a brutal way to show Toney that MMA is no joke. And to shut that mouth of his, I cant fathom any reason for signing him! On a spot on a VS T.V show Toney dissed the whole UFC. Gave Dana the double bird!?!?!? I hope it isnt ......ugh!!! I dont know what to say! ..................................SIDESHOW, BUSH LEAGUE come to mind!!!!

Last edited 3/3/10 5:28PM server time by bustedknuckle
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Post #4   3/3/10 5:25:54PM   

Jride

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Besides what everyone has been saying lately like "Put him with a wrestler like Cain and embarass him, etc etc."

I think Joe Silva should put Pat Barry in there and just tear up his legs with kicks and beat him standing. That will ultimately prove that MMA > Boxing and shut Toney up for good.

Last edited 3/3/10 5:27PM server time by Jride
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Post #5   3/3/10 5:26:19PM   

WheelchairBandit

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I think a fight with Randy would be a LOT of fun.Obviously,Toney could hurt Randy bad on the feet,considering how fragile he is at this point.But if Randy got it into a clinch situation,he'd embarrass Toney worse than he embarrased Coleman.

Plus,both guys are about the same age.No point in throwing Toney in there with a 20-something animal,be it a boxer or MMA fighter.

Brian.

Post #6   3/3/10 5:30:24PM   

BustedKnuckle

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I see no upside to Toney being in the UFC. Unless to just keep up with the Johnson's(Strikforce!?!?!) Were they going to sign him?

Post #7   3/3/10 5:44:25PM   

xdanish020

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Posted by State_Champ

James Toney vs.....Kimbo!?!



That's the only thing I was thinking...

Possible Couture but I don't see any upside for Randy there.

Post #8   3/3/10 6:01:15PM   

hate4thestate

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ufc was complaining about elitexc now they are turning into them.

Post #9   3/3/10 6:09:02PM   

Twenty20Dollars

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All I care about is how much money he is going to get paid, because I'm sure it will probably anger some UFC guys that Toney is going to get paid more than them and he's a 40 year old boxer making his mma debut.

SF should have just signed Toney, then James Toney vs Herschal Walker.

Post #10   3/3/10 6:09:32PM   

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Posted by Twenty20Dollars

SF should have just signed Toney, then James Toney vs Herschal Walker.



Winner gets Jose Canseco

Post #11   3/3/10 6:15:39PM   

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I don't consider this to be such a joke at all.

If you remember what the UFC was originally created for it was to pit style against style and to see who is the strongest. Granted, mixed martial arts have grown far beyond that, but this is an opportunity to showcase that.

Unlike many others I think Boxing is one of the greatest styles to lend itself to the cage. If the stance is only slightly modified a boxer can do significant damage while compromising little inside the cage. Once established boxers (granted ones who are younger) step into the cage with the lightning handspeed and incredible precision of a high level professional boxer it will be extremely exciting to watch IMO.

I see the signing of someone like Kimbo as a joke because it's quite clear he's nothing but a marketing ploy. However, the signing of a legitimate fighter who made a career throwing hands doesn't bother me in the least bit. Not many have done it, but we've seen that you can be 40 years old and competitive in this sport. Why not give him his chance?

Post #12   3/3/10 6:31:03PM   

Mchubb316

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Money in my opinion is the question. If he is making as much as a low level fighter, why not give him a shot. People will be interested in how he does. Boxing fans will be curious as well. It exposes the UFC into another demographic of fans.
The UFC is not turning into EliteXC, if they were he would headline a fight card very soon. I don't think he will even be on a PPV first time out.

Post #13   3/3/10 6:33:36PM   

Boo_Radley21

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He must have just brought him in so that boxing fans could see one of their own get his ass handed to him.

Post #14   3/3/10 6:39:12PM   

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While I do understand all the Hate over this signing, I see this as a pretty damn smart move.

-Signing Toney makes a S&*# load more sense then signing Walker or Kimbo, as Toney not only comes from a professional combat sport, but was a champion.

-This signing is similar to signing Brock Lesnar (ignoring the age difference) as Brock was a top notch wrestler with no other skills (besides his freakish size) and Toney is a top notch Boxer with no other skills. Both are huge names that will draw in a lot of new fans and Publicity. ( ----Yes, I know wrestlers have a much easier time transitioning into MMA then boxers----)

-Think about the marketing possible of a former Boxing Champion fighting in the UFC. ESPN talked a lot about Walkers debut, even ignored the rest of the fight card, think about how much ESPN will be talking about Toney's debut. (----Yes, I know how much it sucks to see freak shows get all the media attention, but it is media attention, which will spark interest in non-mma viewers-----)

-Plus I know we have all been waiting to see a Boxing Champ step into the cage and get his ass wooped. I know he is retired and all but this is a way for MMA to stick it to all those critics calling MMA fighters talentless street fighters.

Bottom line is UFC will get large amounts of media exposure and make lots of $$$$$ <-> which we all know, is the UFC's decision maker

Post #15   3/3/10 6:49:54PM   
 
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