Jose Canseco's Likely Motive for MMA? He Owes $320,000 in Taxes

Jose Canseco made over $45 million playing baseball and wrote a book that cracked The New York Times bestsellers list. But if you're wondering why the former major league slugger is lobbying hard for a Strikeforce payday against Herschel Walker, it's probably quite simple: he needs the cash.

The Detroit News "Tax Watchdog" column reports that Canseco owes a total of $320,195 in taxes to the Internal Revenue Service and the state of California.

According to the paper, Canseco has had four liens against him filed since July 2008, including one as recently as Jan. 7, 2010. Canseco owes nearly $200,000 to the state of California and $121,000 to the IRS.

During his 17-year big league career, Canseco was one of baseball's most feared sluggers, leading the American League twice in home runs and bashing 462 total. He won the 1988 A.L. most valuable player award after posting league bests in home runs (42) and RBI (124).

As the result of his gaudy stats, Canseco became one of baseball's highest-paid players, pocketing millions in salary and endorsements.

In 2002, just months after retiring from the game, Canseco admitted to using steroids while playing in the majors, and later wrote a tell-all book, "Juiced" about baseball's steroids culture.

Since then, however, he's participated in a reality show, taken part in celebrity boxing and participated in an MMA match in Japan, losing to Hong Man Choi in 77 seconds. A follow-up book, "Vindicated" did not fare nearly as well as his first offering.

Soon after Walker made his victorious MMA debut for Strikeforce in January, Canseco began lobbying for a chance to fight him, and has spent some time training with noted trainer Cesar Gracie along with fighters Nick Diaz and Nate Diaz, hoping to earn that opportunity.

So far, the plea seems to be falling on deaf ears. Walker seemed offended by the suggestion, while Strikeforce promoter Scott Coker has said he has no interest in booking a Walker-Canseco matchup.

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