Brock Lesnar isn't the only celebrity feeling that itch to fight again.
American football legend Herschel Walker sat down for an interview with TMZ sports to promote Bellator Dynamite 2 which takes place this evening. In the interview, Walker expressed his own interest in getting back into the cage.
"I told people guys I can fight again. I don't know why people think I can't. I'm a little different. I'm not like everyone else. There's not a doubt in my mind I could fight again and I would love to do it."
Walker is one of the most unique cases in MMA, coming to the game extremely late. He is one of the most decorated college football players of all-time and made the Pro Bowl twice in the NFL. He also competed for the United States Olympic bobsled team in the 1992 Winter Olympics. Walker first expressed an interest in competing in MMA back in 2007 with a black belt in Tae Kwon Do as his only combat sport experience and at the age of 45. Walker had his first fight in January of 2010 at the age of 47 for the now defunct Strikeforce promotion which he won by TKO. Walker would again fight for Strikeforce in 2011 also earning a TKO victory. Since then Walker has been inactive in MMA but maintains a good relationship with the man who ran Strikeforce at the time, Bellator CEO Scott Coker. Walker has told Coker that he hopes to schedule a fight this year.
"Scott Coker is a good friend of mine and when Scott gets ready he will give me a deal. And I told him I want to do something by the end of the year. If I can't get a fight by the end of the year, I'd rather be an ambassador and start promoting the sport a little bit rather than keeping my name out there and wanting to fight."
Coker has never been one to shy away from any fight that could draw ratings and Walker is the type of guy who could draw mainstream media attention to a Bellator show. As for who Walker would like to fight on this show, he was adamant that this not be a freak show style affair.
"I want it to be a worthy opponent. I don't want it to be someone they hand pick - some bum that they found on the street that was fighting fifteen years ago. I don't want it to be someone like that. I want it to be someone that will keep the integrity of this sport."
That may be a tricky proposition. For all his athletic gifts, Walker is still five years removed from his last MMA bout with minimal experience anyway. Finding the happy medium between credible opponent and winnable fight is a narrow target to hit. Coker might also be turned off by the prospect of employing a man approaching 55 after the near-miss fiasco that was Kimbo Slice vs. Dada 5000 earlier this year.
None of this seemed to concern Walker though. When the interviewers brought up the possibility of fighting Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Walker was agreeable.
"Oh I'll fight anyone. I think if you start dodging people you're not a fighter. I don't think you're supposed to dodge anybody."
A fight like that seems a bit far reaching but is certainly not impossible. Jackson fights Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii tomorrow night at Bellator Dynamite 2 and Walker will be in attendance.
Maybe after the fight we will see him step into the cage to set up another one.
You can watch a clip of the interview below.
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I'm so honored to have the support of my country! I'm proud to represent the U.K. https://t.co/SJrNBryS3n— michael (@bisping) June 23, 2016
The new look Pitbull Brothers with that #FacialHairLife! #DYNAMITE2 @PatricioPitbull @PatrickyPitbull pic.twitter.com/qlI8mgig69— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) June 23, 2016
#tbt #gorillashit pic.twitter.com/jztlfembcs— Derrick Lewis (@Thebeast_ufc) June 23, 2016
Sage getting international with it.
I'm ready for UFC 200! Eu estou pronto para o UFC 200! Я готов к UFC 200! #russia #brazil #stpetersburg #moscow pic.twitter.com/CCmCFbQsGt— Sage Northcutt (@sagenorthcutt) June 23, 2016
The contrast between these two in this picture is dramatic.
It's on Victory August 27th! #team12gauge pic.twitter.com/OgZATpLnVv— Paige VanZant (@PaigeVanzantUFC) June 23, 2016
DC walking to the cage in a Bruce Lee outfit would be dope.
Bisping's thoughts on Brexit I assume. Unclear though.
Best training highlight I've seen in a while.
Reem ain't playing no games.
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Phil Brooks (0-0-0) vs. Mickey Gall (2-0-0); UFC 203, September 10.
Joseph Gigliotti (7-0-0) vs. Trevin Giles (6-0-0); RFA 41, July 29.
Jamall Emmers (9-3-0) vs. Rivaldo Junior (15-5-2); RFA 41, July 29.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
1998: Pride 3 took place in Tokyo, Japan featuring Kazushi Sakuraba submitting Carlos Newton with a kneebar.
2000: Marvin Eastman beat Quinton Jackson by unanimous decision to win the King of the Cage super heavyweight title.
2006: Michael Bisping made his UFC debut, winning The Ultimate Fighter 3 light heavyweight tournament final by TKOing Josh Haynes. Also on the card, Kendall Grove won a unanimous decision over Ed Herman to become the season 3 middleweight tournament winner.
2010: Joe Warren won a controversial split decision over Patricio Freire to win the Bellator season 2 featherweight tournament. Also that evening, Alexander Shlemenko stopped Bryan Baker with a knee and punches to win the middleweight tournament final.
I went to school at UGA where you are indoctrinated into the Church of Herschel Walker so take what I say with a grain of salt, but if there is any man not named Randy Couture or Dan Henderson who could have a completely non-embarrassing fight at the age of 54 it's Herschel Walker. The man is an athletic marvel. Seriously, go read his Wikipedia page. Obviously he would get mauled by Rampage but I'd pick him to beat several guys on the Bellator heavyweight roster. Herschel at 54 is gonna be miles better than CM Punk at 37 at the very least. Herschel Walker vs. Bobby Lashley, Scott Coker. Make it happen.
And so ends another week M-Rmy. Dynamite 2 tonight and Glory 31 tomorrow for all your die hard fight fans. Otherwise, enjoy your weekend. Until Monday, be easy.
If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it.