("I asked Scott Coker to find me a couple of cans, but this is ridiculous." Hi-yo! Rimshot! Goddamn it, I’m really sorry about that one, you guys … PicProps: CombatLifestyle)
So, let me get this straight: Herschel Walker’s opponent at next month’s Strikeforce show is a 40-year-old light heavyweight who took 10 years off from fighting to nurse a back injury and then in June got knocked out in the first round of his “comeback” fight at an event called “MEZ Sports” in Los Angeles? Well, that’s just super.
Look, I’ve got no beef at all with this dude Scott Carson. Frankly, if you’re an unknown fighter who gets offered the chance to take on a celebrity like Walker on the televised portion of a Strikeforce card, you pretty much have to take that deal. Hell, you might even win. Suffice it to say, however, that none of Carson’s previous five fights can be found on YouTube – probably because most of them occurred before YouTube was invented – and a Google search for his image only turns up a bunch of pictures of the goalkeeper for West Bromwich Albion. So I have to ask: What are we really doing here, Strikeforce? What do we hope to accomplish with this, besides the possibility of netting two or three minutes of airtime from Jim Rome or Colin Cowherd the week of the fight? I mean c’mon, even Kimbo Slice had the decency to fight people we’d sort of heard of before.
There’s nothing wrong with the fact that Walker’s somewhat roundabout journey of personal discovery has brought him to MMA and I think it’s admirable that he trains with one of the sport’s most respected and most grueling camps, instead of locking himself away at some half-assed private facility like some other rich people we could mention. It’s commendable that he reportedly donated the paycheck he got for smothering Greg Nagy for three rounds back in January to charity. He loves to compete athletically and if he wants to test himself in the cage, great.
But what’s really the point of having Walker beat another no-name jobber? Will we learn anything? Will Walker wow us with the vast improvements to his game? Will we even be entertained? Probably not, but I guess the possibility that it might be able to scrape a pittance of mainstream attention out of this thing makes Strikeforce duty-bound to give it prime broadcast real estate in between Hendo vs. Babalu and Paul Daley vs. Scott Smith. That doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Carson says he used to train with Chuck Liddell and recently moved over to Mark Munoz’s Reign Training Center, which currently boasts a fairly impressive roster. It seems Scott Coker didn’t have to scroll quite as far down into his phonebook to find Carson as he did to dredge up Nagy. At least three of Carson’s previous wins came by submission, so maybe he won’t just let Walker lay on him for three rounds like the last guy did, either. But the message is clear: Strikeforce ain’t bringing Carson in to win.
For the second straight time they’ve lined the former professional football player up with a can they’re fairly certain he’ll beat. The reasons for that are clear and nobody is really to blame. Still, there’s something bush league about it. The UFC would never do this, because it doesn’t have to. I’m getting the sinking feeling that December’s fight card will be just another reminder of why Strikeforce will always be second fiddle and honestly, I’m not sure who will even really want to watch.