WEC lightweight Alex Karalexis will face Anthony Pettis at WEC 48 next weekend, and he'll have the Mullet Militia in his corner. No, not former bantamweight champ Miguel Torres. Karalexis will have his friend and student, brash Minnesota Vikings Pro-Bowler Jared Allen.
Though Allen has been training in MMA for the past few summers, he realizes he won't have the technical expertise to truly help Karalexis. Instead, he'll provide humor in the corner.
"I'm going to pull out as many lines from 'Karate Kid' as I can," he said. "You know, 'Put him in a body bag, Alex.' That's going to be my line. Really, he'll have his trainers. I'm just there for support."
Allen is one of many professional athletes who have used MMA in their off-season to improve their game. In addition to Herschel Walker taking up the sport full time in retirement, basketball player Shaquille O'Neal, NFLers Chad Ochocinco and Matt Leinart have also learned the ins and outs of fighting, and they've said that it has helped them in their first sport. Allen agrees:
Allen said last summer that MMA training has made him a better football player because it has enabled him to improve his conditioning, mental focus, hand skills, footwork and flexibility.
Just watching Allen walk in behind Karalexis at WEC 48 is going to be a sight to see. Karalexis is a lightweight who is generously listed at 5-foot-8 while Allen is 6-foot-6, 270 pounds.