Herschel Walker is getting ready for his mixed martial arts debut on January 30 at Strikeforce Miami, and I have mixed feelings on the subject. Walker was one of my all-time favorite football players, and I respect the fact that he challenges himself in other arenas, from bobsledding to ballet. On the other hand, I don't want to see a fight that feels like a sideshow, and a 47-year-old former football player trying MMA certainly has sideshow potential.
But I'm pleased to hear Walker say that he's working hard and training with elite fighters, including UFC heavyweight Cain Velasquez.
"Cain Velasquez has really, really worked with me a lot on my wrestling, which has really, really improved that a lot," Walker said. "So I'm just preparing myself. ... I'm going out to win."
I don't think Walker is going to be particularly good at MMA, and unless Strikeforce hands him a ridiculously easy opponent, there's a very good chance he'll lose and lose badly in three weeks. But I am glad to see he's taking his preparation seriously and working with high-quality training partners. If he's bolstering his taekwondo background by working with an elite wrestler like Velasquez, maybe he's going to pleasantly surprise people. Maybe.