UFC Hall of Famer and former dual-division, multiple-time champion Randy “The Natural” Couture did what most expected he would when he took on veteran boxer James “Lights Out” Toney this evening at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
“The Natural” wasted no time in dragging Toney into his world; less than thirty seconds in Couture shot a low single on Toney and promptly deposited the world champion boxer on the mat. From there Couture would not be stopped as he let loose with a barrage of ground and pound while scooting “Lights Out” up to the cage. Once the decorated Greco-Roman wrestler had Toney mashed against the fence it was only a matter of time before he would apply the fight-ending arm triangle choke submission. Once the 47-year old had the choke secured he spun out of mount to increase the leverage and separated Toney from consciousness at 3:19 of the first round.
With the win, Couture proved most everyone (including Toney’s boxing peers) right and demonstrated the reality of mixed martial competition: that bringing only one dimension of combat to the cage just won’t get you very far. Couture also earned his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with the victory; his coach Neil Melanson draped the black belt over his shoulders mid-Octagon during his post-fight speech, prompting a hearty laugh from “The Natural.”
Couture gave Toney credit for accepting the fight and for having the courage to step up and test his skills in MMA. For his part, Toney was humble in defeat. He gave Couture credit for being a “great fighter” and promised to return to the cage. Couture’s professional record improves to 19-10 with the victory and he is now on a three-fight winning streak. Toney’s professional MMA record drops to 0-1 in defeat.