Herschel Walker, the former Cowboys, Vikings, Eagles and Giants running back, is preparing for his professional debut as a mixed martial arts fighter in January.
Walker is currently in San Jose, training with the American Kickboxing Academy team for the fight. Although the Strikeforce MMA promotion has announced that Walker will be part of its January 30 show, it has not named an opponent for him yet.
The fight will take place at BankAtlantic Center near Miami, and Strikeforce is hoping to get some coverage of the event from the football media who are in Miami for the Pro Bowl that weekend and the Super Bowl the following weekend. The fight card will be televised on Showtime.
Ex-NFL players have had mixed results when trying their hands at MMA. In the most recent season of the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter reality show, ex-Buffalo Bills practice squad member Brendan Schaub won three fights and advanced to Saturday night’s live finale. A couple of other former NFL players, Marcus Jones and Matt Mitrione, did well enough on The Ultimate Fighter to earn a bout on the undercard fighting each other. (I’m picking Schaub to lose his fight and Jones to beat Mitrione.)
But there have also been some ugly results when former NFL players have attempted to fight in the cage. Foremost among those was when former NFL wide receiver Johnnie Morton took an MMA fight in 2007. Morton was knocked out in just 38 seconds and had to be carried off on a stretcher.