Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

Ken Shamrock to Fight James Toney… For Some Reason

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: .

Details are quite limited at this point in time, but it’s now been confirmed that a fight between UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock and renowned multiple time boxing champion James Toney will go down in the near future. The date is tentatively locked in somewhere in the fall (September 23 and October 1 have both been announced as the date of the fight) and will be held at an as-of-yet unknown venue in El Paso, Texas for an as-of-yet unnamed promotion. Despite the scarce details, a larger question remains: Why?!

In an interview with MMA Weekly, Shamrock explained that the opportunity to fight Toney is an interesting one as it won’t be held under the widely accepted unified rules (which are used by such promotions as the UFC, Strikeforce and Bellator), but will instead put a limit on how long the match can stay on the mat. Rather than allowing the fighters (ie: Shamrock) to take the fight to the ground (ie: take Toney to the ground), the bout will have a 30 second time limit which the fight can remain on the mat following a takedown. Though the one-time UFC great revealed in the interview that he looks at the opportunity to fight Toney under such unusual rules as “entertainment” first, he still promises to “beat him up.” How noble.

Toney, who was embarrassed by Randy Couture in his first and only MMA match, still claims that no boxers in his weight class will fight him because they’re “scared” and that Couture turned down a half million dollars to compete in a rematch. Speaking to, Toney explained — in traditional James Toney fashion — that “once I hit him, it’s over with,” before adding a bit of additional news that lends the fight even more of a bizarre twist. Not only will it be held using hybrid rules, but the fight will sanctioned for eight rounds, as opposed to MMA’s usual three.

Despite having just one sluggish MMA contest under his belt, Toney will still genuinely serve as a stand-up challenge for Shamrock, especially so considering his questionable ability to take a punch at this stage in his life. Yet, if Toney’s words are true, an eight round up and down bout could favor the former UFC champion, who still appears in far better shape than the bulkier boxer. But make no mistake, at this stage in each man’s fighting career: Ken Shamrock’s labeling of this match as “entertainment” above all else is absolutely correct. These two aren’t facing off in a fight, they’re facing off in a freak show that will lend them each a payday. Nothing more, nothing less.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]