Boxer James Toney is now roughly six weeks away from his first ever MMA bout, a trial by fire in the form of UFC legend Randy Couture at UFC 118.
In a new interview with Uppercut Magazine Toney admits that it’s taken a while to adjust to the unique challenges that MMA presents.
“Man, first month was the hardest cuz it takes time for your body to adjust to different things – the sprawling, kicking, the holds, the different [inaudible] things, but after a month it started coming to me. I started listening and studying a lot more.”
Toney also talks about the first time he was handed a pair of MMA gloves in training.
“I said, pops, do you really want me to spar with these 7oz gloves on? Do you know what I’m gonna do to you guys? Because MMA fighters aren’t used to getting hit like how we (boxers) hit.”
The interviewer goes on to ask him how he feels about getting hit with such small gloves on.
“You know me, I ain’t had a problem about getting hit, I ain’t trying to shy away from it,” he says before admitting with a smile, “It’s better to not get hit with them than to get hit with them.”
Personally I like Toney when he’s in this kind of mood, dispensing with the posturing and smack talk and instead answering questions honestly about his progress while staying respectful to the sport he’s entering into.
You have to admire his courage, but listening to him it’s clear that despite his diligent training that he’s still barely scratched the surface of the skills he’ll need to survive against someone of Couture’s experience if and when this fight moves beyond the initial feeling out process on the feet.
Check out Toney’s full interview below.