When the UFC officially announced yesterday that Kevin “Kimbo Slice”Ferguson would be fighting Matt Mitrione at “UFC 113: Machida vs. Shogun 2,” it left boxing legend James Toney without a date for his MMA debut.
It was almost a foregone conclusion that Kimbo would welcome Toney into the sport of MMA as the pairing would provide a pure standup war, but it seems as though the UFC thought better of the idea.
Although the rumored bout would’ve generated massive interest within the mainstream media, it would also have been a lose-lose situation for the UFC.
Had Toney won, the prevailing thought would have been that Kimbo wasn’t a legitimate MMA fighter to begin with. If Toney had lost, the UFC’s latest blockbuster signing would have been beaten by an amateur boxer – at best.
So if not Kimbo, then who will Toney meet in his first Octagon outing?
By no means do I have any “inside information” in terms of what the UFC’s plans are, but the obvious choice at this point is UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. It’s a challenge that Couture has been pushing for so it has to peak UFC president Dana White’s interest enough to at least consider making it happen.
Couture has said countless times that he only wants to take “interesting fights” at this stage of his career. Well, nothing would be more intriguing than a former elite boxer facing one of the most well known MMA fighters of all time.
It would be the ultimate striker vs. grappler matchup and an easy sell for the UFC as they could attract hardcore MMA fans while capturing a whole new audience for the sport.
A potential bout with the former champ seems like a match made in heaven for the UFC and Toney. As I have previously pointed out, it’s also a fight that Toney COULD conceivably win.