Couture Praises Jones, Laughs Off Toney’s Smack Talk

By Staff Aug 1, 2010
Randy Couture file photo:

Former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture was impressed with Jon Jones’ quick win Sunday over Vladimir Matyushenko in the main event of UFC on Versus 2.

“Vladdy’s been a solid performer for a long, long time,” Couture explained on “The Daily Line” program on Versus. “He’s been in this sport for as long as I have, 13 years. He’s fought some of the best guys -- Tito Ortiz, to name a few. Jon showed well tonight.”

Despite Matyushenko’s experience, Jones forced a ref stoppage 1:52 into the first round. He caught Matyushenko in a crucifix and pounded his head with elbows.

The win is Jones’ fifth in the UFC. Couture has been watching him all along, including his bout against Stephan Bonnar.

“He did things in that fight where I went back to the gym and was like, ‘How the heck did he do that?’” Couture said.

Couture also praised Jones’ humble attitude. As for what the 23-year-old needs to do to become a champion, Couture said he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing.

“He’s got a great wrestling pedigree,” Couture said. “He’s put together some tremendous striking. He uses his range well. He’s very composed. He doesn’t even look like he’s breaking a sweat out there most of the time. … He’s going to continue to improve with more experience.”

Couture also has a bout coming up. He fights boxer James Toney at UFC 118 on Aug. 28. Toney has talked plenty of trash leading up to the fight, but Couture laughed off his comments Sunday.

“I think he’s going to be dangerous, especially early in the fight,” Couture said. “He’s a tremendous boxer. He’s got great boxing credentials. This is not a boxing match. It’s a mixed martial arts fight. There’s a lot of things that can happen and a lot of things you have to be wary about. Striking changes when you’re in MMA, with takedowns, knees, elbows, kicking, all the other things that take place in a mixed martial arts fight. In that cage it’s a lot different, and I don’t think boxers realize that. James is going to realize that on the 28th.”
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