Randy Couture: It’s an honor for me to carry the mixed-martial-arts mantle

UFC legend, Randy Couture has been speaking tonight about his blockbuster showdown with heavyweight boxing champion, James Toney at UFC 118 in Boston, Massachusetts, explaining it will be an honour to represent the sport in this age old battle for supremacy between the two sports.

Couture, speaking MMABay via a teleconference call, said:

“I’m not terribly concerned. I’ve been in there with a lot of big, strong guys – and had them on their backs – who I’m sure hit just as hard as James does. Technique changes when you’re laying on your back or sitting on your butt. The mechanics of a punch are different in those circumstances. Certainly I have a gameplan for the ground, and I’m not terribly worried about being knocked out from that position.”

“My estimation is that there definitely needs to be some adjustments made. There are a couple other things that need to be accounted for with that particular stance and style of boxing, and I think that’s what a lot of boxers in general, when they look at MMA, they fail to understand. With the takedowns and the punching and the kicking and the dirty boxing and clinchwork that takes place in mixed martial arts, you have to change your stance. You have to kind of change your fighting style a little bit in a pure boxing perspective.”

“There wasn’t a whole lot of fighting going on there. It was basically over pretty quickly. I don’t think Tim Sylvia’s gameplan with Ray Mercer was very astute. He stepped right into range and kind of advocated that kind of a firefight. Those kind of things happen in that kind of fight.”

“I have a particular gameplan to put myself in positions that will give me the best opportunity to win. Whether or not my opponent presents the opportunity for me to submit him or not, it’s not really up to me. It’s not something that can I focus on. I can certainly create those situations or try and create positions that will allow me to look for submissions, but I’m just as content to sit on top of him and pound him out. If a submission comes, it comes.”

“I’ve been representing mixed martial arts in a lot of venues for a long time. Back when this sport was being banned all over and most people didn’t understand who we were or what we did, coming from an Olympic sports background as a bona fide world-class athlete, I ended up representing the sport a lot. It’s an honor for me to be considered for this fight and to kind of carry the mixed-martial-arts mantle.”

“James poses a little bit different problems. I’ve faced a lot of strikers, but I’ve not faced a striker like James. James has a unique boxing style, and he sets things up a particular way, and I’ve had to adjust tactics and train to fit that and to try and be effective in a little bit different way.”

“It’s a mixed martial arts bout in my mind, certainly. The question is what are the skillsets and what are the things James is going to be able to learn and try to execute in this fight. That’s going to determine how much it’s just boxing versus MMA. Obviously the rules of engagement for me are purely MMA. It’ll be interesting to see what other things James develops specifically for this fight.”

“I’m sure the UFC, if things continue the way they’ve been continuing, will want to sign me to a new contract. That’s a long ways away as far as I can see. Right now, I’m not looking past James Toney, and be ready for that.”

About William Smith

After watching the first Ultimate Fighting Championship I became instantly hooked. I've been a huge fan of the sport of MMA ever since. Haven't missed a UFC event & thanks to fight pass I've witnessed some of the all time greatest fighter & athletes the sport through Pride, Strikeforce, WEC, Glory, Pacrase, EliteXC.............. I resently joined MMA-paradise.com & will use this site to continue to bring the latest news from the world of MMA to all our loyal followers.