At 48, Herschel Walker Says He's 'Still a Young Fighter, Still Getting Better'

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Herschel Walker will never become an MMA champion. But as he showed at the HP Pavilion on Saturday night, he's no pushover either.

The 48-year-old former NFL running back and Heisman Trophy winner only needed a kick in the face to get his motor started against an unheralded, hand-picked opponent. Then the man who's been everything from an Olympic bobsledder to a would-be track star rolled right over the unknown Scott Carson (4-2) at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg.

"I'm still a young fighter, still getting better," Walker said in the post-fight press conference. "Scott is young too, so it ain't like I did anything special. One thing I want to do is get back into AKA, get back into training, and just see where it goes from there."


After getting tagged with a kick to the body and then one across the cheek in the opening seconds, Walker went on the attack and dropped the 40-year-old Carson with a left hand that landed just behind the ear. From there, Walker never let up, even if his inexperience showed a bit as he rushed into Carson's guard and nearly got swept.

"I did a little bit better than I did in my first fight, but it wasn't that impressive because I got kicked twice," Walker said. "That's one thing I don't need to do is get kicked. The last kick woke me up a little bit, so that was good."

As Carson tried to scramble to his feet moments after the knockdown, Walker had no trouble picking him up and slamming him back down before resuming the attack. At that point, Carson could only cover up in an attempt not to absorb too much damage. When he tried again to get back to his feet, that's when Walker landed a hard left that put him back down one more time and prompted the referee stoppage at 3:13 of round 1.

"I'm not here to entertain people," Walker said. "I've got other things to do than entertain people. I'm here to fight. If I step in the cage, I'm going to fight."




The question for Walker now is, what's next?

While he seemed amenable to a third fight with Strikeforce, Walker wouldn't say for sure where or when he might return to the cage, or against who. So far the former running back has fought only carefully selected, inexperienced opponents, prompting criticism that Strikeforce is only feeding him beatable bodies for the promotional value his name brings.

But even though Walker admitted that he hadn't accomplished anything ground-breaking with a victory over the likes of Carson, he refused to acknowledge that his age is a factor in his fighting career.

"Everyone talks about my age, and let's put that to rest. If you've got a 20-year-old who wants to run me in a [40-yard dash], I'll run him. If you've got a 20-year-old who wants to beat me in basketball, I'll beat him. ...Age don't really matter to me. Age to some people is important, but I never think about it."

Still, Walker made it clear that he's not interested in a reserve spot in the upcoming Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix tournament, nor is he aiming at winning a championship belt, unless Strikeforce wants to give him one "for being the oldest fighter," he joked.

"The only belt I'm going to get is one that I buy," Walker said. "I don't think [Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker] is ready to sell me a belt. ...You can't buy a belt. This is not boxing."

For now, Walker said, his goal is just to get back to his training regimen at San Jose's American Kickboxing Academy and improve his overall knowledge of the sport. But from the way he talks about his love of competing on the mats and in the cage, don't be surprised if he decides to take another run at it.

"My goal was just to be able to step in there and be able to compete with these guys," he said. "To be honest with you, I wanted to do one fight and then get in the gym with guys that are fighting and just train with them. It's not like I had dreams of being a fighter, because honestly, I am older and this is a young person's sport. But if I can bring more recognition to it and help people recognize this sport, I'd love to do it because I think these guys deserve a lot more than what they're getting."

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