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James Toney: My first MMA fight will happen in June or July

By Zach Arnold | March 5, 2010

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James Toney’s unofficial web site, Fight Hype (I kid), has a new interview online with Toney today talking about his UFC aspirations. It’s a hilarious interview. Toney is complaining about not being recognized as the IBA Heavyweight champion in boxing. I don’t think the IBA Heavyweight title is as prestigious as say the ICWICWA Texarkana television title. Toney also rants about boxing promoter Dan Goossen and how he (Toney) can’t get booked on a PPV main event. However, the highlight of the interview is not an answer from Toney but a question asked by Fight Hype:

PC: It’s funny because a lot of MMA fans will give a decorated wrestler, who has no boxing or jiu-jitsu training, a chance to be successful in MMA, but they won’t give an established boxer a shot in MMA even though the fights start in your comfort zone: standing.

Toney says in the interview that he won’t be fighting until June or July. June would be in Vancouver, July would be in Las Vegas (on the same show that Brock Lesnar will likely return on). Given that Vancouver is still a little squeamish about sanctioning MMA (right now), I would doubt that we would see Toney on the Vancouver card. Given Keith Kizer’s record in Nevada, it would almost seem certain that getting licensed in Nevada would be the friendlier option.

Topics: Boxing, M-1, Media, MMA, StrikeForce, UFC, Zach Arnold | 21 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

21 Responses to “James Toney: My first MMA fight will happen in June or July”

  1. white ninja says:

    M-1 and Fedor will add the scalp of Coker and Strikeforce to their list of bankrupt promotions as the curse of the Last Emperor strikes again

  2. Mike Rome says:

    Not really getting why a company that was financially stable before Fedor would somehow have financial problems if he left. With Affliction and EliteXC, there was an insane amount of evidence that only a very small group of delusional people could (and did) ignore. Strikeforce is different, they secured a great rights fee on Showtime compared to what Elite had, and they don’t overpay for talent. Regardless of what happens to Fedor, I don’t think Strikeforce is going anywhere.

    • The Gaijin says:

      Shhhh…you’re going to destroy all the Zuffa-philes fantasies.

      I find it funny that Fedor gets blamed for the fall of every promotion he’s been in…maybe he and his management have just been very good at identifying idiotic money marks and taking huge paydays where they are available rather than – ZOMG!!1!1! Fedor bankrupts every promotion, he iz teh plague!?

      • Dave says:

        If anything Fedor attracts idiots. The people that book him are usually delusional and looking for a big name and they have some money to throw around without any sort of business plan.

        Stikeforce at least has their stuff together.

    • Ed says:

      We know that Strikeforce got paid $700,000 for the Miami show. Does anyone know how much they get for a Challengers card? The Challengers cards apparently draw about 1/3 the viewers of their big Showtime cards, so maybe $200-$250,000? What about a CBS card? $1.5-$2 million? Do they get any bonuses for exceeding ratings targets?

  3. The Gaijin says:

    Let’s run a quick review of these promotions Fedor has “cursed” with his Russian gypsy friends:

    RINGS: Folded in 2002. Was a hybrid mma org, with funky rules (no ground strikes) and ran some big tournaments before folding due to the meteoric rise of PRIDE behind Sakuraba and the Gracies and it’s fulll mma rules. The organization was just not viable and did not evolve, probably because it’s founder was so rooted in puro and unwilling to go full NHB/vale tudo, as well as booking “freakshow fights” for the casual Japanese fan. This folding was about as much Fedor’s doing as can be blamed on Babalu, Hendo, Big Nog and Randy Couture.

    PRIDE: At the time, the premiere mma organization in terms of name value, talent, pay and following. It was uber-successful until it was rocked by a yakuza scandal which forced it out of its cushy TV position and killed a great deal of its advertising support and revenues, leading to it’s ultimate demise when it could no longer find funding to run its gigantic productions w/ high salaried fighters and the yakuza money bailed out to dry ground.

    So a yakuza scandal knocking out the legs and financial support of the company, clearly Fedor’s doing.

    BoDog: A shady billionaire who saw that mma was getting popular, wanted to be “with it” and created some ridiculously odd promotion that portrayed him as some type of island fortress dwelling Bond villain who surrounded himself with women and had world-class fighters fight for his entertainment. Not to mention this was apparently all a “loss leader” to advertise and direct online gamblers to his BoDog betting operations.

    That shady Fedor, taking mountains of money from some idiot with no business plan and no idea about the sport…obviously HE bankrupted this company and not someone with no viable business plan (other than proving he is a powerful ladies man), running events in front of no-one on a tropical island.

    Affliction: Maybe the closest case for the Fedor haters. A t-shirt company formed a fight company based on 2 things (i) hey we’re a popular brand in mma and people are making a lot of money – we don’t know a lick about fighting, but it can’t be that hard right?!? and (ii) 1 fight…Fedor vs. Randy, Randy being, at the time, one of the most beloved and popular fighters in the world. Small problem that he was already under contract with another organization and Affliction not really having any type of back up plan or legal standing to think they could make this fight happen.

    So then they do the next most logical thing – sign EVERY heavyweight and any other fighter they can think of to massive six figure deals, include fighters that only hardcore fans who watched PRIDE or the IFL had ever heard of…and pray to god they do well on PPV despite having no experience promoting fights and some really terrible marketing and PR.

    Guess what? Paying Tim Sylvia $800k and AA $1.1mm when they weren’t really UFC’s biggest draws and Josh Barnett $500k, Lindland and Rothwell $300k wasn’t the smartest idea. But again, we need to make sure we blame Fedor for taking big money when EVERYONE else was because the dimwits running the promotion had ZERO business acumen in the fight promotion game.

    How dare that Fedor come in and destroy all of these helpless promotions, clearly he’s a cancer that eats these places up from the inside out. Let’s just ignore all of the other factors involved in the demise of these organization and just unilaterally determine that since he was there, it’s his fault the companies went under.

    And just to be clear – I’m not saying Fedor doesn’t know a good money mark when he sees on, he obviously does. But I am so sick and tired of this meme of “Fedor bankrupts promotions”, “Fedor is the black plague of mma organizations”.

    Fedor or no Fedor, these organizations were going to implode and other than Affliction, there’s not even a remote connection between the downfall and him. He certainly took them for all they were worth, but as the saying goes “a fool and his money are soon parted” or maybe a more apt point of view would be that it was a miracle that fool and his money ever got together in the first place.

    • jj says:

      “How dare that Fedor come in and destroy all of these helpless promotions, clearly he’s a cancer that eats these places up from the inside out. Let’s just ignore all of the other factors involved in the demise of these organization and just unilaterally determine that since he was there, it’s his fault the companies went under.”

      This is the only part that matters in everything you wrote. LOL!

    • JStein says:

      This was an absolutely wonderful post. Walking through the history of Fedor’s recent run is particularly interesting. Glad someone took the time.

  4. 45 Huddle says:

    Strikeforce’s problems are going to arise when they have to increase their payscale. They can’t afford all of their talent if the UFC makes fair offers to their champions.

    • The Gaijin says:

      Fully agreed. They’re going to have to make sure (a) their champions clauses are air-tight (which is probably difficult seeing as that’s how they’ve prob been trying to sell themselves re. non-exclusivity) and (b) that they really evaluate the value of each fighter to them and don’t just fork over money Affliction-style.

  5. Fluyid says:

    “Yahoo! Sports’ Dave Meltzer confirms Ultimate Fight Night 22 will be on Apr,. 17 in Nashville. There are two sites under consideration. White is working on Kimbo v. Toney. “

  6. Zack says:

    Toney is extremely out of shape right now. If they hot shot his debut and have him fight in a little over a month, it most definitely is a freakshow. At least give the guy a few months to get into shape if he chooses to do so and give him the normal amount of notice to train for the fight/opponent.

  7. white ninja says:

    Thanks Gaijin – now I see the light. Its all coincidence that every promotion Fedor has headlined has folded. Must be everybody else’s fault

    Pride = Fedor’s defection from Pride to Inoki led directly the yakuza scandal = destructon of Pride = led to destruction of the fledgling Inoki promotion. 2 for the price of one : )

    Bodog = crazy russians and crazier promoter fall out in disarray after one event; arguing about whose logo should be bigger on the fight mat

    Affliction – same as above; except with double the life of bodog = uneconomic due to accepting crazy demands of the headliner and inability to put on fights

    SF = still breathing; but Vadim will bleed them dry soon enough

    M1 is a parasite; great business for Vadim (not clear how good it is for Fedor)

    • The Gaijin says:

      Too funny – but a pretty poor trolling attempt. I basically stopped listening after “crazy Russians”…b/c if that’s the type of logic you’re bringing to the table I really don’t even need to hear the rest.

      No one is saying that M-1 isn’t in it for themselves…but the BS about them being the cause of multiple promotions failing is some cosmically hilarious conspiracy theory. Correlation =/= causation.

  8. Dave2 says:

    I don’t think it’s right to consider Fedor a plague/curse. Rather M-1 is a parasite. They don’t understand the concept of, you scratch my back, I scratch yours. They will just latch onto a naive host and suck them dry and then move on to the next naive host. I’m dissapointed in Coker. He was such a great businessman but then he sold his soul to Showtime/CBS (speaking of plagues/curses…) and M-1 and now he has no control over his product. Strikeforce is going to fold I’m afraid.

  9. Zack says:

    Didn’t Bodog run a non-PPV from Vancouver that failed too? Or did they just tape that show to air at a later date. It was the other show that wasn’t in Costa Rica.

    Also, it’s way too simplistic to say that Fedor killed Affliction. Did you see their payroll? I was live at both shows. If they didn’t have Fedor, the live shows would have died. I’ve been to 10+ UFCs and the only fight that had the energy in the building similar pre-fight to Fedor v Sylvia/Arlovski was Randy/Chuck 3. And the place was just as packed as it was when I was in the same building for UFC 59 (and at UFC, people didn’t stay for the main event…I’d say it was 2/3 full tops by the time Sylvia/Arlovski went on.)

    Ed. — Yep, Vancouver show… forgot if it was PPV or not… I just remember Eric Pele vs. Bigfoot Silva.

  10. Zack says:

    Thanks, guys.

  11. Mark says:

    This “Fedor is a curse” crap is so old it went to high school with Helio Gracie. Why are you going to blame a fighter for a bunch of people making stupid business decisions? The buck stops with the management who okayed the dumb decisions.

    RINGS was a dinosaur product Fedor wasn’t even the focus of.

    PRIDE was mobbed up before Fedor got there. Like, from day one. You know, its original figurehead either killed himself to avoid Yakuza problems with debts or was murdered by them and covered up to look like a suicide because of those issues before Fedor even got there.

    BoDog was run by people who knew nothing about MMA and they had an awful television product that actually made people NOT want to see more of them. Why do I want to pay to see a PPV when you’re showing me some washed up no-hit-wonder singer as a host, one of the worst announcing teams ever, and a WWE reject putting submission holds on models? What did they ever do to promote their actual product? TNA laughs at them.

    Affliction overpaid far more people than just Fedor or any M-1 fighter.

    You can easily say Jerry Millen was the curse because he was everywhere Fedor was but RINGS. But there is no curse, this is a new sport where a bunch of n00bs are learning on the job and making dumb decisions that put them out of business. Last time I checked Fedor wasn’t a CEO. Even if he is overpaid in your opinion what is he supposed to do, turn down money explain to the management how to be financially responsible? No, you’re an athlete with a short span to make enough money for support your family so you take every dime you can get.

  12. Miller says:

    lol I forgot about the Bodog show on Ion in 2007. They had a few good fights on it, but Mark is right to say Col. Bob Sheridan had no business in MMA announcing. But he still wasn’t as bad as Damon The Dog Perry.


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