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Strikeforce Will See Your NFL Washouts, UFC, and Raise You a Heisman Trophy Winner

(Yep, this should give you an idea of how old Herschel Walker is.  When he started in the NFL, Sports Illustrated cost $2.25 an issue and the publishing industry only had a handful of fonts to choose from.)

Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I hear a company or organization proclaim that something they’re doing is totally not a gimmick, that’s about the point where I become convinced that it is absolutely a gimmick.  And yet, Strikeforce wants us to believe that their signing of 47-year-old former NFL star Herschel Walker – a man with no professional MMA experience – “isn’t a publicity stunt.”  Just like it probably has nothing to do with all the attention the UFC has garnered by putting a bunch of former NFL players on this season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”  Just a coincidence.

But in a press release sent out by Strikeforce this morning, Walker, who is expected to compete at heavyweight, says he’s headed to AKA to train with their team of monsters, and he seems to think that he has valuable fighting experience to draw upon, even if it isn’t in MMA:

"I’ve been training for several years.  I would play college football games on Saturday and then compete in martial arts tournaments on Sunday after church I’m now looking forward to opening up another chapter in my life and to competing in MMA… I will go in there and test myself against any 20 year old," said Walker.  "I know there will be naysayers and I’m fine with that.  I want to prove to people who sit on a couch and don’t do anything but criticize other people that, if you’re a true athlete or martial artist, you’re not old until you can’t get up and walk around anymore.  MMA fighters are said to be some of the best athletes in the world, my plan at the age of 47 is to show the world I am still one of the best athletes as well.”

First of all Herschel, I’m sitting in a nice leather office chair right now, not a couch.  Second, there are really two ways to look at this, depending on how much of a negative jerk you like to be.

When a former star in another sport thinks he can take up MMA as a post-retirement gig, there’s something a little insulting about it.  He’d probably never consider trying to re-enter the NFL at 47-years-old, and he has actual professional experience at that.  That could make fans feel like Walker thinks of MMA as some form of celebrity boxing.  It isn’t.  Just ask Jose Canseco.

Then again, the guy’s a great athlete, so who’s to say he can’t give it a go? Sure, he won the Heisman Trophy in 1982(!!!), but he also competed in the OIympics on the two-man bobsled team in 1992.  In other words, he’s aged well and has proven that his athleticism is relevant to more than just football.  And if he gets crushed in the cage, maybe that will serve as a reminder that this is a real sport and not some local basketball league for you to use as a workout regimen once your playing days are over.  In that sense, this could end up being a positive gimmicky, publicity stunt.

But let’s not kid ourselves, Strikeforce doesn’t really believe that he’ll be a fifty-year-old heavyweight champ after a few years of seasoning.  This is at least 50% publicity stunt.  A 47-year-old man with no pro fights simply does not have a long and storied career ahead of him, and Scott Coker knows it.  But when the UFC is the big show in town, adding former NFL players (after they’ve gotten a few fights under their belts) to an already stacked heavyweight division, you’ve got to do something to show you’re still kicking. 

Better get in the gym, Bo Jackson.  Strikeforce has a contract waiting for you. 

Cagepotato Comments

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cagefightmon- September 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm
THIS JUST IN . . . .

portland mma- September 21, 2009 at 2:53 pm
He also said in January of last year he has multiple personalities does anyone else remember that? That is why i'm not so shocked by Mr. Walker he's a straight up fruit cake. Fuck you guys talking shit about my raiders, this is the only place I can usually go without getting shit for them.
Bloodlust- September 21, 2009 at 1:47 pm
Yeah GEE yuh TEEN, I can definitely see the Raiders taking Chuck Lidell in the first round of the 2010 nfl draft. Definitlely.
Socal Tot- September 21, 2009 at 1:45 pm
He is just too damn old to start out as a novice. I agree with the first point- why not go back to the NFL? The idea is just as ludicrous.
TheSlothman- September 21, 2009 at 1:45 pm
@ SodaPopinski... putting aside the utter hatred i have for Cock Chester, he was a national champion college wrestler, which is a combat sport, WITH ( too few, agreed) pro fighting experience before getting in the Octagon. Walker is 47. off the couch , with a worthless TaeKwonDo belt at his disposal, and absolutly 0 fighting experience. No comparison...
PurplePickle- September 21, 2009 at 1:16 pm
Strikeforce is just going to trade him to the UFC for three TUF fighters.
ArmFarmer- September 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm
Comparing Walker to Lesnar is ludicrous. Lesnar has a liftetime of competition in a legitimate combat sport, is in his early 30's, is a physical monster, and has never been away from competition for an extended period of time (wwe counts because even though it's fake I garuntee you that shit's still hard to do). Walker is in his late 40's, has no practical sport combat training, and probably hasn't been very active for a long time. Lesnar also spent a solid couple years training in mma before making his debut. No comparison.
Viva Hate- September 21, 2009 at 12:06 pm
This starts moving to dangerous territory and freak show fights like you see in Japan which do nothing to help the sport.

Honestly, watch the video of Johnnie Morton, a younger quicker guy, he gets destroyed in 38 seconds. Remember all of the talk about him shaking and twitching on the mat.

I do not see a 47 year old former NFL star, a jucking and jiving out cold with foam coming out his mouth helping the sport.
Fight Fan- September 21, 2009 at 12:01 pm
Lots of former athletes could "probably win a few fights in lower organizations". But not everybody with "the nerve to step in the cage" should do so. Not if the goal is to elevate the sport. If all we want to see is former elite athletes brawl in a cage, then by all means.

I propose the "IGNFC...I Got the Nerve Fighting Championship".
Fight Fan- September 21, 2009 at 11:52 am
That's great! An over 40 class...a senior division. LOL
Viva Hate- September 21, 2009 at 11:48 am
@Soda Popinski,
Actually Lesnar did turn out to be bad publicity, remember all of the negative press after UFC 100? I also see a big difference between a guy who is currently 32, had a load of collegiate wrestling experience and at least one prior MMA fight and a guy who is 47 and no MMA experience. Lesnar was also an active athlete when he signed with the UFC, he has fought prior plus played in the NFL.

Plu does anyone know if Dissociative Identity Disorder could cause any problems for an MMA fighter?
Smitty- September 21, 2009 at 11:36 am
@ meanfinger
Ain't that the truth. Most of these people talkin big shit, like they would ever have the nerve to step in the cage. Now that would be a joke!! Walker is already an accomplished martial artist (A black belt in either taekwondo or Karate). He has incredible flexibility from his days in ballet, and he "IS" still a very good athlete. I KNOW he could win a few fights in a lower level promotion, and I think he stands an ok good chance of winning in Strikeforce, depending on who the opponent is.
Soda Popinski- September 21, 2009 at 11:35 am

Viva Hate Says:
Mon, 09/21/2009 - 12:43

This could be the worst publicity for MMA since some mexican kid fell out a window impersonating "ultimate fighting moves"

Or when Dana White signed Brock Lesnar to the UFC.

Listen, youd all be liars if you said you werent considering it the biggest joke in MMA history the day that Brock Lesnar walked to the octagon. Am I saying that Herschel Walker should be compared to Brock Lesnar? Maybe.

I admit that I was in the boat of ripping him to pieces when he first showed up. Since then, ive seen him demonstrate his power and get the job done by doing so. That being said, a record of 4-1 hasnt won me over just yet.

Alls Im saying is, be careful ripping Strikeforce's newest signing. Cause when you think about it, is it really that much more of a leap than what the UFC did/pulled off with Lesnar a short time ago.

Just saying.

Viva Hate- September 21, 2009 at 11:25 am
Jose Canseco is looking to rebound from his last MMA performance, get it done Strikeforce.
Lysol- September 21, 2009 at 11:14 am
Walker vrs. Mercer would be THE worst idea ever.

Mercer is a fomer world heavyweight boxing champion

Walker has NO professional fighting experience.

Honestly, I can think of plenty of freak show fights for Walker, but legitimate contenders? MAYBE Matt Minitrone, but he's a UFC guy.

Maybe if an undrafted NFL Free Agent starts taking MMA classes, he would be a good opponent for Walker, but why the hell would we pay to essentially see an amateur fight, with two guys with less than one year of fighting experience?
meanfinger- September 21, 2009 at 11:12 am
no real promoter is gonna think this guy is a championship prospect.. its good to get a lil attention to you organization and sell some tickets.
Dropkick_Murphy- September 21, 2009 at 11:10 am
I hope he fights Herschel Walker Cuyler in his debut
meanfinger- September 21, 2009 at 11:10 am
damn.. theres alot of haters out here in cp. u guys act like hes fightin fedor or somethin. he wants to get in the cage.. give the man some respect. most u pussies wouldnt even get in there. i doubt he needs the money.. personally i'd like to see him get a few warm up fights and then maybe take on mercer. why not? over 40 hvywght division
Lysol- September 21, 2009 at 11:10 am
Looks like we've found Fedor's second opponet...
GEE-yuh-TEEN- September 21, 2009 at 11:07 am
Maybe Mirco Cro Cop and Chuck Liddell should enter the NFL draft next year.
Viva Hate- September 21, 2009 at 10:47 am
I heard there is going to be a grudge match between Doug Flutie and Gerard Phelan, since 99% of people forget who the hell Phelan is
Viva Hate- September 21, 2009 at 10:43 am
This could be the worst publicity for MMA since some mexican kid fell out a window impersonating "ultimate fighting moves"
El Famous Burrito- September 21, 2009 at 10:42 am
What's Carrot Top doing these days? He looks pretty ripped, and his face isn't exactly his moneymaker. Wanna make some quick cash?
UFC fan- September 21, 2009 at 10:41 am
Mean Joe Green just called he said he was gonna "toss his jersey at someone and bust they face", grrrrrrr.
WithoutRemorse- September 21, 2009 at 10:35 am
I have no doubt that the folks over at strikeforce have a great legal staff... just as I am sure that they have singed "old man walker" to an iron clad contract with a clause that states..."if you die in the ring, its not our problem" but surely there's an unwritten contract between strikeforce and its viewers. No one wants to be the unwitting participant in a live execution... and I don't think a simple "View discretion is advised will work this time".