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Finally an Elite Pro Boxer to Compete in Mixed Martial Arts – UFC 118 – Couture Vs. Toney

It was inevitable, I hoped anyway, that a world class, bona fide professional boxer would enter the world of MMA. The two sports are competitors in a way, for audiences anyway. There should always be room for both, but I know that I personally used to watch boxing religiously until MMA came along. But there’s always that nagging question for a fan: who would win in a real fight, a boxer or a mixed martial artist? MMA has had Tae Kwon Do experts, kickboxers, even professional boxers. But a top name boxer? Not yet. Could a top ranked boxer knock the lights out of an MMA fighter before you can say ‘takedown’? Well, in the words of Chael Sonnen, “we are all gonna find out.”
I just found out when I was watching UFC 117 that Randy Couture is slated to fight against the one and only boxing legend James Toney. This is what Dana White and all other MMA fans have been waiting for. Not only is one of the best of the boxing world taking on the challenge, but he is taking on Hall of Famer, one of the best in the sport of MMA, none other than Randy Couture.
Talk about a legitimate matchup. Couture has fought, and beat, the best light heavyweights and heavyweights in the MMA world. He has been tested. He has lost battles, and he has won battles. He has been tested. Dana White could have thrown Toney in against a contender or a gatekeeper to the division, but he threw him in with the best.
This will go back to what Randy Couture called the first generation of mixed martial artists. Back when the goal was to find out which style of fighting was dominant against all the others. Was it wrestling? Kickboxing? Strongman? Judo? Boxing? The legitimate boxing representatives did not participate, the sport wasn’t even mainstream, for crying out loud it was outlawed in the U.S. for years. The one lesson that seemed to be learned from that generation was taught by MMA Hall of Famer Royce Gracie: everybody needed to learn Jiu Jitsu! Since then MMA fighters have learned that they need to learn many styles of fighting to be competitive: wrestling, boxing, Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, etc. What Randy calls the new, or third generation of MMA fighters, came up learning all of them at once as a cohesive whole, they came up as true mixed martial artists.
So now the big test comes. Back to the first generation of MMA. Will the elite professional boxer prove that boxing skill and power can overcome the new style of fighting in mixed martial arts? Or will Toney be defenseless against Randy’s takedowns and rendered helpless on the ground? I wish I knew the answer now, but “we are all gonna find out” when Couture and Toney meet at UFC 118, Edgar vs Penn II.…