Toney signs multifight deal with UFC

Updated: March 3, 2010, 11:35 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

LAS VEGAS -- Boxer James Toney is taking a crack at mixed martial arts, signing a multifight deal with UFC.

The 41-year-old Toney, a former super middleweight and cruiserweight champion, fought Roy Jones Jr., Evander Holyfield, John Ruiz and Hasim Rahman in a career that spanned more than two decades. But he hasn't had a significant title shot since March 2006, and he also tested positive for steroids twice.

UFC president Dana White believes Toney has the proper attitude to succeed in a crossover to MMA.

Toney, 72-6-3 as a fighter, isn't the first athlete to try the move to mixed martial arts. Herschel Walker won his MMA debut for Strikeforce on Jan. 30, and former boxer Ricardo Mayorga will make his MMA debut May 15 for a small Florida-based promotion.

The UFC hasn't determined the date or opponent for Toney's MMA debut.

"We have been working on stretching, sprawling and movement, all the things he will need to get a handle on," Juanito Ibarra, who is working with Toney, told Sherdog.com on Wednesday. Ibarra is the former trainer of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.