Former UFC Lightweight Champion BJ Penn is one week away from fighting to get his belt back from Frankie Edgar at UFC 118. The co-main event for the upcoming card is being billed as a boxing vs. MMA matchup that will pit veteran boxer James “Lights Out” Toney against MMA veteran Randy “The Natural” Couture. Courtesy of Toney’s brash (although paling in comparison to Chael Sonnen’s recent crusade) promotion tactics, as many people are talking about the Toney-Couture match as they are of Penn-Edgar 2. Penn recently revealed his own opinion on the Toney-Couture bout and his thoughts may be surprising. Props to MMAFighting for the transcription.
“I really would like to see James Toney do good out there,” Penn said. “You know what? If Randy goes in there and runs over James Toney in five seconds, I don’t think that does anything. I look for ways to try to build the sport, ways to put more fans in the seats and more money in our pockets. I want to see James Toney go in there and do good.”
The Hilo, Hawaii native claims that he actually spoke with Toney some time before and “Lights Out” had expressed a desire to compete in MMA even then. Penn respects Toney sticking to his word and for getting into the cage with “The Natural” and praises “Lights Out’s” courage.
“I remember talking to him a while back and he said, ‘BJ, I want to get involved with this stuff,'” Penn said. “And I never… I thought he was just running his mouth at first. I thought we were just, you know, having a conversation. And here he is, here he is. He’s stepping in and fighting a five-time UFC champ on his first fight. The guy’s got some b—-, man. And I give it to him. And I just, I wish the best for him.”
“The Prodigy” isn’t kidding himself when it comes to Toney’s chances one the cage door shuts, though, but he lends him his goodwill come August 28th.
“You know, with Randy it’s going to be tough because he’s got the Greco,” said Penn. “He wrestled in college, so he’s got the shot. And if they exchange, they’re going to get caught in a some kind of clinch. And I think it’s going to be tough for him. I just want to see him go out and do good, you know?”
Penn, Edgar, Couture and Toney will all test their mettle this August 28th at UFC 118 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.