Boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. disdainfully dismissed mixed martial artists as “guys who couldn’t do boxing.” Why would they want to? MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world, while boxing seems to be hanging on by the thread of their silk robes. In fact, boxers are the ones who like to push the envelope and test their mettle inside the cage from time to time. Although there have be some “hits,” most pugilists miss the mark when they trade the 10 ounce gloves for the four ounce gloves. Here are five of boxing’s biggest misses.
5. RUBIN WILLIAMS VS. KAZUSHI SAKURABA
This 2009 Dream 11 bout featured a mismatch of epic proportions. Rubin “Mr. Hollywood” Williams couldn’t make the cut in professional boxing when he stepped up to face quality opposition. For some reason, he attempted the transition to MMA by fighting PRIDE great Kazushi Sakuraba. Bad idea. Within seconds, Sak peppered Williams’ with leg kicks, took him down, tenderized him with body shots, and locked in a fight-ending kimura.
4. FRANCOIS BOTHA VS. YOSHIHIRO AKIYAMA
Francois “The White Buffalo” Botha faced six world champions during his boxing career, including Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. In December 2004, he decided that stepping into the ring to face Japanese judo star Yoshihiro Akiyama was a good idea. Although Botha had a significant size advantage, “Sexyama” had no trouble scoring a takedown, securing mount, and tapping Botha with an armbar in less than two minutes.
3. ART JIMMERSON VS. ROYCE GRACIE
Art Jimmerson was a former cruiser weight boxing contender who had the misfortune of accepting an invitation to the first Ultimate Fighting Championships in Colorado in 1993. Jimmerson stepped into the Octagon equipped with only one boxing glove to fight BJJ master Royce Gracie. The Brazilian took Jimmerson down, mounted him, and locked in double grapevines for control. Before Gracie could attempt a submission, Jimmerson tapped out.
2. RAY MERCER VS. KIMBO SLICE
Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion and Olympic gold medalist, Ray Mercer thought he would simply outclass Internet brawling sensation Kimbo Slice. He was wrong. Slice attacked immediately, punching, kneeing, and elbowing the overwhelmed Mercer,who could do nothing but cover up. Then, Slice secured a takedown, locked in a guillotine, and pulled guard, forcing Mercer to tap at 1:12 in the first round.
1. JAMES TONEY VS. RANDY COUTURE
Having held numerous world championships in multiple weight classes, James “Lights Out” Toney is the most accomplished boxer to try his hand at MMA. After Toney talked his way into the Octagon, he got more than he expected from Randy Couture. “The Natural” took Toney down with a low single, pummeled him with a few dozen punches, and secured a fight-ending arm-triangle at 3:19. Toney never even threw a punch.