Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

UFC 118: The Wit And Wisdom Of James Toney, MMA's New Big Swinging Freak Show

Illustration for article titled UFC 118: The Wit And Wisdom Of James Toney, MMA's New Big Swinging Freak Show

James Toney may get thumped tonight by Randy Couture at UFC 118, but he's already triumphed in the promotional battle in customary fashion — by sounding like a drunk Clubber Lang practicing the dozens inside a dumpster.


Here, a roundup of Toney's sui generis schtick — seemingly directed at all life forms within his ambit — during the build-up to UFC 118:

On fear, after looking into Couture's eyes during a staredown:

I seen fear. I smelled it, too.

On management:

After I'm done with Randy Couture, I'm knocking Dana's ass out because he's got a big mouth. I'll fold him like an accordion. I'll get him in the hallway without gloves. It's personal now.

On violence:

I'm not a hater of MMA. I love anything with violence — the more the merrier, for me.

[Couture] can go however he wants, quietly and peacefully...or very, very violently.

On happiness:

I'm always in a good mood until somebody pisses me off.

On New Yorkers and libation:

Jon "Homo" Jones better do his research before he talks shit about me. He doesn't know anything about me. He's about to learn though because when I see Jon Jones, I'ma slap his ass. I don't play those games. He better learn how to fight before he talks shit about me. Jones is the 2010 Rampage Jackson — both straight-up "yes" men. Tell him to go drink an Ecstasy drink because I heard that's what he likes to do. Just another bitch-ass New Yorker.


On freak shows:

Man, the only freak show I got is between my legs.

On bafflement and hair pigmentation:

Confuse me? What the fuck?! Do I look like I'm blond?

On sexuality:

I ain't gay. I'm not going out like that. Ain't nobody gonna lay on top of me and just pound me like I'm a sissy or something like that. It's not going down like that. That's the way Randy likes to do things. That's the girlie way out.


On Roe v. Wade:

If you hate me, that's because you motherfuckers are abortion babies: aborted babies that lived.


On defensive tactics:

Yeah. Front kick, back kick, all that. Side check kick.

On merchandising and miniature reproduction [skip to 6:05]:

Toney has always been a fine comedic method actor, prone to dressing like Pancho Villa before fights with Hispanic opponents and giving shout-outs to Burger King after victories. He is also one of the best boxers of his era, a defensive, counterpunching maestro who Double Whoppered his way from middleweight to heavyweight, winning titles at every stop. As his weight ballooned, his "lights out" power became less effective and his cunning increased. The Toney of today is slower and fatter but can box inside and out and remains world-class off the ropes (although perhaps not the cage). His fight tonight against Couture isn't quite the freak show people are making it out to be or even a showdown of MMA styles. Rather, it's a genuine clash of aged but still competent fighters from very different martial arts backgrounds, which is, after all, how the UFC started. Not that any of it bodes well for Toney, but it's been nice to have him around, talking into microphones before a big fight.


Luke O'Brien is a writer in Washington, D.C. He's written for Details, Washington Post Magazine, Boston Magazine,, and other publications.