How good can Toney become in UFC and who will he fight?
In his autobiography penned with Sherdog.com news editor
Complementing his boxing, which of course is world-class, Toney is famous for his mouth. He makes for good copy and hands-free promotion. But he's also a loose cannon, and after a second career positive steroid test -- the first came in New York in 2005 -- I watched him berate a member the California State Athletic Commission, Dr.
Here is how the CSAC classified the episode in its minutes: "Mr. Toney stated that he has been competing for 20 years and called Commissioner Giza disrespectful and then burst into a profanity laced outburst directed at Commissioner Giza in front of the Commission and all attendees."
The episode was a lowlight in CSAC history. Even though Toney came close to verbally assaulting Giza, the commission, which at the time was helmed by executive officer
I happen to like the idea of seeing accomplished boxers enter MMA, even if they're well past any prime. When purses are big enough and MMA is widely regarded as prestigious a combat sport as boxing, it will happen that a boxer at his zenith will challenge an equally dominant mixed martial artist. That will be an event to watch. In the meantime, more boxers like Toney, or former welterweight and junior middleweight champion
How good a mixed martial artist can Toney become? It's reported that he's working with
Forget for a moment that Toney is 41. Or that he's slow. Or that he hasn't won a boxing bout of significance in four years. Even boxers at their physical peak have difficulty identifying many of the tactics offered in an MMA bout. Former UFC heavyweight champion and current HDNet analyst
The most interesting aspect of Toney's deal is the revelation about Zuffa's willingness to allow him to continue boxing. That's a major step off the path of contractual exclusivity that UFC has worked so hard in defining as a fact of its operation. It can't be taken back. Other fighters -- such as
Let's not fool ourselves. The only reason Toney is giving MMA a try is he can't get fights in boxing anymore. Now, he's a single-discipline fighter entering a three-dimensional world, and heavy odds are against him having any kind of impact. This is about selling tickets and pay-per-views, not that there's anything wrong with that since consumers can vote with their dollars on whether it was a smart decision by the UFC.
As it is, there appear to be at least three reasonable options for Toney's debut, which is reportedly happening at light heavyweight.
White cried about media covering Walker. Before he put Slice in the
After officially announcing April 17 as the return for MMA on CBS, sources tell SI.com that CBS is willing to move the card back a week if, as rumored, the UFC decides to move ahead with counter-programing. That would put Strikeforce in direct competition with Zuffa's first attempt at selling WEC on pay-per-view, and likely signal the commencement of major ground operations between the promotional companies.
It was initially thought that production of an April 24 MMA card on CBS was unlikely since the Showtime broadcast crew, led by producer