It was a slam dunk for Strikeforce. In spite of being slammed by the sport's most influential personality, UFC president Dana White, Herschel Walker and Strikeforce appear to be a match made in PR heaven. The Pro Bowl is just days away in South Florida and Super Bowl 44 a week later, so a football legend like Walker is going to draw some attention. Especially at the age of 47, as he tries mixed martial arts.
Walker's presence turned out a solid crowd of media types at Strikeforce's workout day at American Top Team in Ft. Lauderdale. Walker was a bit surprised it was mostly for him and not the more established fighters:
"I'll say it's kind of embarrassing that I'm getting all this publicity when you have true fighters out there that can fight and do a lot of things," Walker told the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. "In some ways I'm happy to see it because I want to bring recognition to the sport. But I don't want to embarrass the sport. I'm going to go in there to fight."
As he's said many times already, this no publicity stunt for the NFL legend and 1982 Heisman Trophy winner. Walker even put aside his love of Santa Claus to make this trip to the cage:
"I gave up my Christmas, my New Year's and all that," he said. "And I love Santa Claus. To give that up, I had to be serious about it."
Walker makes his pro debut against Phoenix's Greg Nagy on the undercard of Strikeforce's event Saturday at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise. Pro wrestler Bobby Lashley (pictured on the right) is also featured on the card along with female star Marloes Coenen (pictured with Frank Shamrock).