In anticipation of UFC 118, boxer versus grappler has been talk all week long . James Toney will try to pull the upset on Randy Couture. But don't forget the card also features Marcus Davis against Nate Diaz. If there's anyone who understands how hard the transition is from the ring to the cage, it's Davis.
There was a time when Davis was in Toney's position. No, he was never on the level that Toney has been in boxing but after 18 pro bouts wearing the big gloves, Davis moved over to MMA. Since he possessed only one legitimate weapon, Davis was in over his head during Season 2 of "The Ultimate Fighter".
"There's nothing that James Toney can do to Randy Couture other than punch him and knock him out," Davis told Hardcore Sports Radio (audio). "He's basically going into this fight completely one-dimensional."
"Randy will do what he wants to do to him," said Davis. "There's five ranges of fighting - kicking, punching, trapping, grappling and ground fighting. Those are five different ways a fight can be fought at and all Randy has to do is shutdown the punching range. That's it! And that's easy to do especially for somebody when this is all that they ever do."
Davis knows first hand what it's like to bring so few weapons to the Octagon. It was so bad for him on TUF 2 and then the TUF 2 Finale, he was close to walking away from the sport. And that was against MMA prospects. Toney is facing a 13-year veteran of the sport.
"His first professional MMA fight, his first one, is going to be against one of the greats," said Davis. "That's like me just jumping into professional basketball and playing a game of one-on-one against Michael Jordan. It's just not gonna happen."
That's a bit of an exaggeration but you get the point.
Toney has also talked about facing Brock Lesnar if he wins on Saturday night and says that he's still balancing a boxing career. Davis said that's not possible. Then host Mauro Ranallo threw out Strikeforce fighter K.J. Noons as an example. Noons (10-2 MMA) has also boxed professionally 13 times. Davis wasn't impressed.
"If he came to the UFC in the 155-pound division, he would be eaten up and spit out. He wouldn't make it here," said Davis. "He wouldn't be able to come in here and box and fight MMA, wouldn't happen."
Aside from pro boxing careers, Davis and Toney share one other thing in common, they both celebrated a birthday on Tuesday. Davis, 37 said he expects a better birthday gift on Saturday night than Toney, 42, will be getting.