Twitter has a funny way of slapping us with memories. This little nugget was one of the highlights for the week.
Three years ago today, Conor McGregor -- with no boxing experience -- nearly beat Floyd Mayweather. pic.twitter.com/Yy4jxCec9j— The Athletic MMA (@TheAthleticMMA) August 26, 2020
I thought we’d rewind a little further, to almost ten years to the day. When three-division world boxing champion James Toney stepped up to fight Hall-of-Famer Randy Couture at UFC 118.
Matchmakers thought it would be a compelling matchup, and why not? It’s always a trip for fight fans to go back to the “style vs. style” days, anyway. Even if we almost always knew what the end result would be.
But like the champion promoters that they are, the UFC found a way to stir up a debate. What if Toney catches him? Can Randy avoid those granite hands and score a takedown?
Well, if you saw the fight, those questions were answered within the first 30 seconds. Couture successfully completed a low single and it was pretty much over from there. Toney was a complete fish out of water from bottom. No real efforts to escape, as if he was in week one of grappling class.
You can watch the whole fight here, but below are some highlights, again, thanks to Twitter.
And yes, Couture earned his black belt from Neil Melanson off of that win. Just look at the joy on Captain America’s face.
As for Toney, he did promise Joe Rogan during the post-fight interview that he “will be back.” I’m not sure if fate or Father Time would still permit it at this point, but huge credit to him for diving into this challenge head first.
I’ll end this post with a quote from Manny Pacquiao’s coach Justin Fortune when he was recently asked about a possible boxing match with Conor McGregor.
McGregor is an MMA guy, and we can’t do MMA, and he can’t box. That’s very simple.