December 25, 2009
The guy looks like he could still play in the NFL, but is that enough to warrant giving 47-year-old Hershel Walker a chance to fight professionally in a cage? Opinions vary from pats on the bat to complete outrage. UFC president Dana White thinks it's embarrassing for the sport while Strikeforce is willing to give the legendary athlete his shot.
Walker, a 5th-degree black belt in tae kwon do, is taking things seriously. He put a successful business on hold and moved to San Jose for three months at the American Kickboxing Academy, the home of veteran MMA fighters like Mike Swick, Josh Koscheck Cain Velasquez, Josh Thomson and Jon Fitch.
"I left all those black belts outside," Walker told Cagewriter. "Once you want to become a fighter you've got to leave what you used to know outside and come in as a fresh guy."
Walker said his future is in the hands of the folks AKA and if they tell him he's not ready for his debut on Jan. 30, then he won't fight. Strikeforce strategically placed the first fight in Miami, the weekend of the NFL's Pro Bowl, hoping to get a boost from the NFL media on hand.
The former running back is doing this for himself but he would like to prove one naysayer wrong and that's White.
"Dana is just upset he's not the only show in town. He doesn't even know the athlete I am."
Walker, won the Heisman Trophy in 1982, played pro football from 1983-1997 in both the USFL and NFL and was a 1992 Olympian in the two-man bobsled. Walker is donating his pay from the fight to charity.
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