James Toney's first MMA fight was a spectacular failure, but apparently the veteran boxer is going to try his luck again. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
42-year-old boxer James "Lights Out" Toney and 47-year-old UFC original Ken Shamrock will apparently meet in a "mixed rules" bout either on September 23 or in October, and according to Boxing Scene have a meet-and-greet press function scheduled for Saturday in Van Nuys, California. The actual fight is set to take place in El Paso, Texas.
This is what it is, and I could choose not to be harsh here, but if the fight goes ahead -- and consider me skeptical to say the very least -- it sort of tells you all you need to know about where the careers of Toney and Shamrock are at these days. Toney was embarrassed in his foray into MMA last year when he fought Randy Couture at UFC, being easily taken down and submitted in the first round. Toney was unable to do anything in the cage against Couture, and frankly there's no reason to suspect that he could do anything with Shamrock, either, even given that Shamrock is light years past his prime and these days is basically a famous guy fighting when he shouldn't.
Shamrock was in the 1990s one of the stars of the early Ultimate Fighting Championship, alongside such names as rival Royce Gracie, Don Frye, Dan Severn and Tank Abbott. Shamrock left mixed martial arts to focus on a pro wrestling career, where he made good money and became a star with the then-World Wrestling Federation for a couple of years before returning to MMA. He's never been the same level of fighter he was before his WWE stint in the late 90s, and most recently lost a fight to a low-level fighter named Mike Bourke (10-16-1) last November, as he was stopped in two minutes at a King of the Cage event in South Africa.
I don't know how this fight will even come together, but I'm guessing some fringe MMA promotion will back it in the hopes of the famous names attracting some eyes and some money. But sanctioning it might prove difficult even in Texas, which is a more lax state than California or Nevada, and I'd still bet right now the fight doesn't actually happen.