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Herschel Walker vs. Scott Carson Set for Strikeforce December 4

Former football star Herschel Walker had said he wanted to step up to face a higher level of competition when he participates in his second professional mixed martial arts fight at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu on December 4. But that's not going to happen.

Instead, Strikeforce has matched Walker up with Scott Carson, a 40-year-old whose only fight in the last nine years was a first-round knockout loss.

Carson got involved in MMA in the 1990s and has a 4-1 professional record, having won four fights against little-known opponents before leaving MMA in 2001. He returned to the cage this year and was knocked out in less than three minutes by Lorenz Larkin.

"It's a big honor to fight [Walker]," Carson told Loretta Hunt of "I'm a fan but I also believe he's beatable and it's a good matchup for me."

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told that "The goal with Herschel's next fight is to put him in a little more competitive environment and let him test his skills," but it's hard to see how Carson is a more competitive fight for Walker than Walker's first opponent, Greg Nagy, was. No one expects Walker to face elite opposition in his second pro fight, but Walker and Strikeforce had at least indicated that Walker would get credible opposition, and Carson doesn't even rise to that level.

It's great that Walker, one of America's most respected athletes, is getting involved in MMA. And it's inspiring that at age 48 he's still in fighting shape. But it's wrong to suggest that Carson is a meaningful step up in quality of competition. Instead, he's just a warm body to be thrown in the cage with a football star.

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