A quick convincing loss in his MMA debut last August was apparently not enough to deter James Toney from ever fighting MMA again. In fact, in an appearance Monday on The MMA Hour, Toney said is certain he will return to mixed martial arts.
"That's 100 percent," Toney told host Ariel Helwani, when asked if he would fight MMA at least once more before he retires.
The 42-year-old Toney and current IBA heavyweight boxing champion lost to UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture at UFC 118 after falling victim to an ankle pick followed by a fight-ending arm-triangle choke at three minutes and 19 seconds of the first round.
Asked about the loss to Couture, Toney said "it won't happen again" and pointed to an I.R.S. situation as a distraction right before the fight; though Toney made it clear he didn't want to make any excuses and credited Couture for being the better fighter that night.
Toney, who was scheduled to earn $500,000 for the fight, learned just before the fight that his purse would be held as his past tax returns are examined. Toney says he hasn't received a penny yet, but is confident he will recover his fight purse and plans on suing the I.R.S.
Realistically, a fight against Jackson would be highly unlikely unless Jackson decides to sign with another promotion once his contract with the UFC expires. After the loss to Couture, UFC president Dana White released Toney from his UFC contract and said he won't promote Toney again.
Still, Toney believes other MMA promoters will be more than happy to accommodate him.
"I'm honestly I don't care if in the UFC or whoever," Toney said. "When James Toney fights, people will come."
Right now Toney says his focus is preparing for a title defense against an opponent to be determined. But after that, he's open to fighting anywhere -- ring or a cage.
"I'm in preparation to make a defense of my heavyweight defense on Jan. 27, but after Jan. 27, I'm available."
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