UFC Signs Boxer James Toney

James Toney Signs with UFC
Former pro boxer James Toney has signed a multi-fight contract to compete in the UFC. The promotion’s president, Dana White, confirmed the signing on Wednesday with MMAFighting.com after the news was first reported by FiveOuncesofPain.com.

Details of the contract, as well as Toney’s first bout with the promotion, were not immediately available.

The 41-year-old former IBF middleweight and super middleweight champion has publicly campaigned for a shot in the Octagon since late last year. Toney attended back-to-back UFC events in November and December, and video of White and Toney in impromptu discussions even surfaced online.

In early January, White said he was cautious of the prospect of allowing a pro boxer to enter the UFC ranks.

“(Boxer) Zab (Judah’s) like, ‘Man, you need to teach these guys how to box. You need to teach them this, that, and everything,’ but these guys don’t understand,” said White. “You don’t balance your weight the same way you balance your weight in boxing. You’ll get that front leg kicked off into the eighth row somewhere if you distribute your weight the same way they do in boxing. There’s an education process there for these guys that I learned the f—ing hard way. I went in and got choked out and kicked in the leg and all the stuff that happened to me when I started.”

White said he was unsure if promoting a pro boxer would translate well into pay-per-view buys. White was also aware of the potential backlash that could come with the move.

“I got blasted this week? Let me make this fight. Then I’ll get blasted from her to– I’m the first guy out there going, ‘This is a f—ing freak show. Who would put on a fight like that?’” said White. “But I gotta tell you this. I’ve always wanted to see a guy–(Toney’s) a guy I actually respect. He’s tough as nails. He’s mean. He’s nasty. (But) he better get in shape if he wants to come in here and do this stuff.”

Toney’s flirtation in the UFC has been ongoing. In October 2006, former UFC champion Randy Couture said he was called by the promotion with a potential bout against the pro boxer that never came to fruition.

UFC 110 Results

Main Card

* Cain Velasquez def. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via KO (punch) – Round 1, 2:12.
* Wanderlei Silva def. Michael Bisping via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
* George Sotiropoulos def. Joe Stevenson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
* Ryan Bader def. Keith Jardine via KO (punch) – Round 3, 2:10.
* Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic def. Anthony Perosh via TKO (doctor’s stoppage die to cut) – Round 2.

Preliminary Card

* Krzysztof Soszynski def. Stephan Bonnar via TKO (doctor’s stoppage die to cut) – Round 3.
* Chris Lytle def. Brian Foster via submission (knee bar) – Round 1.
* C.B. Dollaway def. Goran Reljic via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
* James Te Huna def. Igor Pokraja via TKO – Round 3, 3:26.

Velasquez drops Nogueira at UFC 110

By Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports
Kevin Iole Yahoo Sports Photo

SYDNEY – Cain Velasquez passed his first major test, planting himself firmly into championship contention with a first-round stoppage of former heavyweight champ Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at 2:20 of the first round in UFC 110 before 17,431 at Acer Arena on Saturday (Sunday in Australia).

Velasquez landed a right hand, a left hand on top of the head and followed it with a right hook on the chin that knocked Nogueiera onto his back. Velasquez immediately pounced upon him and finished him with five punches on the ground.

Referee Herb Dean hopped in to stop it.

“I wanted to stay in good position and beat him to the punch when I could,” said Velasquez, who is now 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Velasquez, a former wrestling standout at Arizona State, could get the next shot at heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. Frank Mir and Shane Carwin will meet for the interim title at UFC 111 on March 27. If the winner is healthy enough, he’ll meet Lesnar in July or August. If not, Velasquez will get the shot. And as he proved, he’s a legitimate championship contender.

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Changes to UFC 110 Card

A shoulder injury suffered by Elvis Sinosic has forced the cancellation of his rematch with countryman Chris Haseman, and heavyweight Ben Rothwell has been sidelined by an illness, forcing him out of his bout with Mirko Cro Cop . Australian veteran Anthony Perosh will step in to face Mirko Cro Cop.

The rest of the now nine bout UFC 110 card remains unchanged.

UFC 110 Official weights (Courtesy MMAJunkie):

UFC 110 weigh in photo

Pay-per-view card:

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (233.2 lbs.) v. Cain Velasquez (242 lbs.)

Michael Bisping (184.8) v. Wanderlei Silva (184.8)

George Sotiropoulos (154) vs. Joe Stevenson (154)

Ryan Bader (204.6) vs. Keith Jardine (204.6)

Mirko Filipovic (233.2) vs. Anthony Perosh (215.6)

Non-television undercard

Stephan Bonnar (204.6) vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (204.6)

Brian Foster (171.6) vs. Chris Lytle (169.4)

C.B. Dollaway (184.8) v. Goran Reljic (184.8)

Igor Pokrajac (205) v. James Te Huna (204.6)

Couture finishes Coleman at UFC 109

LAS VEGAS Randy Couture has held the Ultimate Fighting Championships heavyweight title three times and its light heavyweight title twice. After a dominant submission victory over Mark Coleman in a battle of Hall of Fame fighters on Saturday in the main event of UFC 109 at Mandalay Bay, Couture may be nearing yet another light heavyweight title shot. He dominated Coleman with his boxing in the first round, punched his way to a takedown in the second round and then finished Coleman at 1:09 with a rear naked choke.

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Kimbo Slice vs. Roy Nelson produces record MMA ratings

Just like he did last year for CBS, Kimbo Slice delivered massive ratings on Wednesday for Spike TV. Slices much-heralded fighting debut on Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter, in which he lost by second-round technical knockout to Roy Nelson, drew 6.8 million viewers, said Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White.

White said an average of 5.3 million viewers tuned in for the initial viewing of the show, which aired at 10 p.m. Eastern Time. The immediate replay, which began at 11 p.m. ET, attracted an average of 1.5 million viewers. White said a normal 11 p.m. immediate replay draws ?a hell of a lot less than 1.5 million.? Many of the show?s first-run episodes have not attracted that many viewers in recent seasons.

The sheer volume of viewers surpassed the amount Slice attracted for his May 31, 2008, bout with James Thompson on CBS. That live Elite XC card peaked at 6.51 million viewers during the Slice-Thompson fight.

The UFC had relentlessly hyped Wednesdays episode, calling the Slice-Nelson fight the biggest match in the shows history. The shows final 15 minutes, when the fight was shown for the first time, did a 7.86 rating among males ages 18 to 34. Overall, the fight itself had 6.1 million viewers.

These numbers are beyond huge, White said. Im blown away. I honestly am blown away. I knew it was going to be big. This is massive. Do you understand how significant these numbers are, getting more viewers than CBS

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Rashad Evans vs. Thiago Silva set for UFC 108

With Quinton “Rampage” Jackson withdrawing from a December contest with Rashad Evans (13-1-1 MMA, 8-1-1 UFC) to pursue an acting role, “Sugar’s” next move has been uncertain for several weeks.

That period is over.

MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the fighter that Evans and Brazilian Thiago Silva (14-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) have verbally agreed to meet in the co-main event of UFC 108.

Evans first mentioned the possibility of the contest to AOL FanHouse in September, citing a brief exchange of glances at UFC 102 in Portland, Ore., as the genesis for the contest.

“Thiago Silva is a good fighter; I’d like to fight him and I think he wants to fight me,” Evans told AOL FanHouse. “When I saw him after he fought Keith Jardine, he kind of gave me a nasty look that I interpreted like he wanted to take me on, and I’d like that.”

Evans’ wishes will now apparently become reality, and bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly.

Evans seeks to rebound from the first loss of his five-plus-year career. The 30-year-old lost the UFC’s light heavyweight title in May when Lyoto Machida dropped him in the second round of their UFC 98 main-event contest.

Silva also recently suffered the lone loss of his career to Machida. After suffering a first-round knockout to “The Dragon” in January, Silva has since bounced back with a TKO win over Keith Jardine at UFC 102.

UFC 108 is scheduled for Jan. 2 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is expected to feature a main event between current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and challenger Vitor Belfort.

For the latest on UFC 108, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.

(Pictured: Rashad Evans)

John Morgan is the lead staff reporter for MMAjunkie.com.

Vitor Belfort verbally agreed to bout with Anderson Silva

The potential UFC middleweight title fight between current champion Anderson Silva and fan-favorite Vitor Belfort appears one step closer to reality.

Fighters Only magazine has translated an interview from Portuguese-language website Terra.com.br with Belfort, and “The Phenom” says he’s verbally agreed to the bout.

The Los Angeles Times first reported the potential UFC 108 headlining bout and cited UFC president Dana White as confirming the news.

“There is a verbal agreement on my part,” Belfort told Terra.com.br. “Now it has to do with the champion, Anderson. It is the champion who is in charge.”

Following Belfort’s UFC 103 main-event win over Rich Franklin in September, White made it clear he felt the Brazilian had earned the right to face “The Spider,” despite the claim of a few other top middleweights.

“To be honest with you, the way the last two fights happened with (Nate) Marquardt and (Dan) Henderson against Anderson Silva, I think it would be better to see them fight each other, and the winner of that become the next contender,” White said. “I think Vitor is ready to fight Anderson Silva (now).”

Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, was unavailable for comment when contacted by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).

For the latest on UFC 108, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.

NSAC Passes – BJ Penn Rule

In a meeting held Wednesday in Las Vegas, the NSAC approved language prohibiting the use of foreign substances on a fighters body prior to or during a fight that could result in an unfair advantage.

Dubbed by a commission official as the B.J. Penn Rule, the use of foreign substances will now be added to a list of fouls in the Nevada Administrative Code that address tactics illegal to fighters, such as eye gouging, small joint manipulation, or biting.

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