James “Lights Out” Toney is best known by boxing fans as a heavy-handed puncher that talks a lot trash. Now that he is in the UFC and preparing for his first ever MMA fight against Randy Couture, nothing has changed. Toney’s jaws are still flapping and he is still as confident and brash as ever. His excellent boxing background where he has compiled a career 72-6-3 record seems to have him feeling extremely confident heading into his debut, but boxing and MMA are completely different. While he may be the hardest puncher the sport has ever seen because of his boxing background, whether or not he can get it done inside a cage is anyone’s guess. We will find out for sure what the boxer can do on August 28th at UFC 118 against Randy Couture.
James Toney joined WNST in Baltimore with Thyrl Nelson and John Rallo to talk about his upcoming debut in the UFC, how different things are in his training, and gives a bold prediction for his fight against Randy Couture.
On why he decided to go to MMA:
“The reason why I’m doing this is because everybody is fighting in the UFC and everybody is scared to fight me in the heavyweight division. I have to come where the action is. I’m coming in to break some jaws, break some necks, and everything else.”
On how different the training is:
“As you know MMA training is way different. Much harder, much more difficult, and the first couple weeks were crazy, but after that everything clicked in because I’m a natural athlete. Everything was crazy but I love it.”
On whether or not he thinks he can have success if he gets taken off his feet:
“I’m very comfortable on my back. I’ll be ready for anything. Once you’re a natural athlete you can adapt. Anything is possible. If Randy wants to go to the floor, we can go to the floor, but it won’t be long. If it is a long time, because of that he’s going to get knocked out.”
On his striking abilities:
“Like you just said, you talk about Anderson Silva as the best striker in the division, I’m best the striker in the MMA period. I’m gonna show everybody how to punch for real. I’ve been in with the best fighters in the world period. I ain’t talking about boxing or talking about MMA. Boxing is all that matters. Whatever it comes down to it, when Randy Couture sees me ready to shoot that right hand up to…I’m telling you he’s not even gonna see it coming, it’s gonna be over and he’s gonna be on his way to the hospital.” (Editor’s note: I’m not 100% sure what he says here. I think we may need Barbara Billingsley to translate. And if you don’t understand that, then I’m too friggin old!)