UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture has been tasked with representing the sport of mixed martial arts in a fight against multiple-time boxing champion James “Lights Out” Toney. He will step into the cage tomorrow night against the trash-talking pugilist for a three round heavyweight bout that has been promoted as a boxing vs. MMA fight. Toney has taken every opportunity possible to issue claims of boxing’s superiority to MMA and also to blast Couture. “The Natural” recently spoke with MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani and revealed that he has not paid attention to Toney’s rants and that he is ready to fight and confident he will win.
“I haven’t listened to much really,” Couture said of Toney’s trash talk. “I kind of stay away from all that. The last thing you want to do is get emotional about a fight and walk into that cage with other things on your mind than the task at hand. I haven’t tuned in to much of that.”
“The Natural” explained to Helwani that he avoids MMA websites and pre-fight hype videos intentionally to stay away from Toney’s tirades.
“I just don’t get on the blogs,” he said. “I don’t watch the promos and the previews and all that stuff. It doesn’t serve any purpose for me. That’s one of the things I love about training camp is life is pretty simple. You eat, sleep and train and you don’t do a whole lot else.”
Asked if he believed that Toney’s foray into the world of MMA is a bad thing for the sport, Couture reflected the feeling that many have concerning Toney’s presence: he’s drawing eyes to the sport and that is never a bad thing.
“I certainly don’t think he’s bad for the sport,” said Couture. “I think he’s certainly created a lot of hype for this fight. I think we’re gonna attract a lot of eyes from the boxing world that we didn’t attract before and hopefully we’ll win a lot of new fans.”
The 47-year old Couture has no doubt in his preparedness for his UFC 118 matchup with Toney and gives a sure answer when asked if he believes he will win against “Lights Out.”
“I will definitely win this fight,” said Couture. “I’m prepared. Everybody says, ‘Oh, he’s got a puncher’s chance.’ How about I’ve got a grappler’s chance.”
Couture and Toney will square off in the co-main event of UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn II this Saturday night at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The card will be headlined by a lightweight title fight rematch between former champion BJ Penn and current champ Frankie Edgar.