If you read my previous article here, you will have read that James Toney is in MMA to prove that boxing is superior to MMA. This news would not be pleasant for MMA fans, but both the MMA and boxing community are looking forward to seeing James Toney fight with bragging rights up for stake.
With Kimbo Slice, Frank Mir, Shane Carwin, Junior Dos Santos, and several other top heavyweights already booked in matches, there are not a lot of fighters to choose from. We look at possible opponents for James Toney.
1. Cain Velasquez or Brock Lesnar
Let's just get this out of the way. Neither of them is going to be getting into the ring with the current NABO and IBA heavyweight champion. Brock Lesnar needs to defend his title against either the winner of Mir/Carwin or Velasquez.
Even if the winner of Mir/Carwin is able to face Lesnar and leave Velasquez out of an opponent, don't expect the UFC to put their hottest prospect into the octagon with a man who—despite having no MMA skills—has absolutely deadly knockout power and risk Velasquez getting knocked out. It'll be a lose-lose situation.
2. Winner of Nelson-Struve
Roy Nelson and Steven Struve are set to face off on UFC fight night: Florian vs Gomi. The towering beanpole from Holland and the former IFL heavyweight champion, Nelson, will put together a contrasting clash of styles. The winner will be on the cusp of the UFC top 10, and possibly within the top five.
Setting up their fight against James Toney will be yet another interesting matchup for both of them. However, I doubt Dana White and Joe Silva will put a fighter with not much fighting experience under the UFC banner representing the company with what could be touted as a boxing vs MMA fight.
3. Loser of Mir-Carwin
The loser of Frank Mir and Shane Carwin would be a top-five fighter with much-needed direction after a loss. Pitting either of them against James Toney would give them a highly anticipated fight to bounce back. This fight, however, would have to depend on the shape of the fighters.
4. Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira
Big Nog needs a fight to bounce back from that quick loss to Cain Velasquez. He did not take much of a beating during his last fight, so he can get back into the octagon as soon as possible. He also has a month head start on recovery compared to the loser of Mir-Carwin.
I think his style also matches up against James Toney. He probably has the best jujitsu in the heavyweight division, and to watch James Toney tap out would be a gratifying sight for me and probably most of the MMA fans. Hence, I think he's favorite to face James Toney.
So there you have it. We'll probably find out whether I got this correct in a few weeks time.