When do you draw the line on embarrassing yourself and ruining your legacy as an MMA fighter? It seems Ken Shamrock and James Toney are on that path and their history in their respective sports, are being tarnished.
Shamrock’s last fight was November 25th, 2010 and he suffered a TKO loss. Watching that fight, his reactions were slow; his skills were greatly diminished, and looked like a normal 47 year old person. I was hoping that was his last fight because he was going to get hurt seriously sooner than later if he continued to step back into that cage. But to no avail he wants back in and has a fight lined up against James Toney.
Now if you don’t know who Toney is he was one of the best boxers in the business and dominated the Heavyweight Division and has multiple titles to his name. Yet he thought boxing was getting boring and stale and decided to try MMA. As the result of triangle choke loss to Randy Couture, you would think that Toney would give up that experiment. With money being the most likely bargaining tool, Toney returns to face Shamrock on September 23rd and will most likely embarrass himself, and the sport.
According to our friends at MMA Weekly, the following rules are set for this MMA “fight”.
The fight is technically a mixed martial arts bout, but it won’t fall under the widely accepted “Unified Rules” that most popular promotions, like the UFC, Bellator, and Strikeforce, operate under.
The most notable changes to the rules are that following a takedown the fight will be stood up after 30 seconds, regardless of positioning, and the fight will consist of eight, three-minute rounds.
Now with these rules, both fighters are grasping for straws and trying to capture the spotlight that has faded a long time ago. Shamrock doesn't have the body makeup like a Randy Couture to continue to fight this late in his career and he should have retired a long time ago when he was riding the horse into the sunset.
With Ken Shamrock, he was a force in the early days of the UFC and was one of the most known people in the sport, when it was frowned upon. He went on to be a star in the WWF and had the patent ankle lock move to finish his opponents. After his run in sports entertainment he decided to come back to MMA and had great a great feud with Tito Ortiz. With 2 wins out of his last 10 fights I don’t see what the point is fighting James Toney unless it was for the money and holding onto that last strain of popularity.
With the economy the way it is and Ken Shamrock trying to hold onto anything that can still make him recognizable, he gladly accepted a fight with Toney to either jump start his career again, or make sure the Shamrock name is still known. Everybody loves to have that little extra bit of money to spend but with some it’s the easy way to making it and with this fight if you want to call it that, it’s an easy payday for both.
James Toney in his last fight said he was going to knock out Randy Couture and was ready to take him out and show people that his words weren’t just that. But when Couture took him down and made him tap everybody thought that he was done and would stick with boxing. Supposedly Toney doesn’t have any opponents willing to challenge him, so he continues to look for other financial options.
This is not a fight due to the rules being so construed and manipulated that it’s a real insult to other organizations and even though the salaries haven’t been released it is probably a handsome amount of money both fighters wouldn’t turn down. But the precedent isn’t about the money but the integrity of the sport and both fighters are ruining their image, and lack of care for what the sport is all about. But in these days I guess money speaks a lot more than the skills and caring for what the sport is all about.
This is turning into more and more of a sideshow act and I'm not surprised James Toney and Ken Shamrock are the participants.