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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Toney Vs. Couture: A Showdown Between Boxing And MMA - By Alexia Krause

If you asked the average sports fan to illustrate the differences between mixed martial arts and boxing, they'd struggle to find the discrepancies. However, to fans of the similar-but-different sports, not only are there distinct differences between the two, but a distinct rivalry as well. With MMA's popularity approaching the level of acceptance boxing currently enjoys, it could be said that the two sports are on the same wavelength but are moving in different directions.

For MMA fans, the sport is much more than "just a sport." As a matter of fact: with video games, events, and even MMA Clothing lines, it has become more of a cultural phenomenon than a sporting one. Boxing has had a similar history some 100 years ago, but things have changed quite a bit since then.

Arguments are constantly erupting between the two fan bases, and fuel was recently thrown on the fire when UFC President Dana White (using his standard colorful language) discussed boxing, criticizing both the sport and its fans. That being said, at the end of the day, an argument is an argument and nothing more. There haven't been many deciding events where one side comes away as the victorious party; that is, unless you consider boxing's James Toney coming face to face with MMA's Randy Couture at UFC 118.

One of boxing's most dominant forces will take on one of the most famous faces in all of MMA when James "Lights Out" Toney takes on Randy Couture in a fight that Toney has proclaimed to be "The biggest fight ever, period. Biggest event period, anywhere.” For Toney and boxing fans, this is their chance to show that boxing can stand up to MMA, and Toney is an excellent fighter for this feat. This is because Toney has held many belts in his storied career (over three different championships) which shows that he can fight differently-classed fighters while at the same time remaining a steadfast contender in the ring. This is something that Toney desperately wants to prove, as illustrated in just one of the many clips available. Here is Lights Out with Dana White from this past January at UFC 108 via mmafighting.com:

On the other side of the matchup is one of the most famous names in MMA - and in popular culture in general - Randy Couture. However, don't get confused, Couture is not some show fighter who has no skills to back up his fame. As a matter of fact, he is a three-time heavyweight champion and a two-time light-heavyweight champion. This is a feat that only Couture and one other fighter have ever accomplished. The fighting style that Couture is known for is his "ground and pound" technique, best illustrated where he uses takedowns to defeat his opponents on the floor. Despite his affinity for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he has many other skills which he incorporates in the octagon to defeat his opponents. As for his fight with Toney, Couture is ready to show that MMA can absolutely match up to boxing, and that Toney is unprepared for the world of mixed martial arts. If you don't believe, me just take a look at Couture's desire to take on a match with James Toney for yourself.

It's yet to be seen which the greater, more physically demanding sport is: boxing or MMA. That being said, once UFC 118 is over, we may have an answer to that question. Rarely, if ever again, will we see two of the brightest stars in each sport to prove whose discipline is superior.

Alexia is a lifelong fan of sports and fitness. Recently, she's been smitten by Mixed Martial Arts. She is happy to be working with MMA Industries, proud suppliers of MMA training equipment to athletes around the world. Alexia continues to bring you the latest news in the mixed martial arts world on everything from the most advanced MMA equipment to the newest MMA shirts.