Herschel Walker Prepares to Fight in MMA at Age 47
January 23, 2010
(ChattahBox) – Herschel Walker has remained seriously fit despite retiring from professional football many years ago in 1997. But despite his awesome fitness level it’s a bit concerning that he has taken on a new athletic challenge that most would consider foolhardy at any age without the proper background and experience. You see Herschel, one of the greatest college football players of all-time, is preparing to step into a mixed martial arts cage soon. This is no Jose Canseco promo for a quick buck. Herschel volunteered to do this and has been seriously training for 3 months, but at age 47, this is not when you make your debut in something as serious as MMA. Yes, Randy Couture, won the last of his five UFC titles at 43, but he didn’t decide to take on fighting as a second career years after most men are well past their athletic prime.
No doubt Herschel is remarkable. He never sleeps more than four hours a night, and eats one meal a day, at night, consisting of salad, soup, and bread. He eats no meat and no fish. But the issue isn’t so much his age (he turns 48 in 6 weeks) as is his lack of experience. According to trainer Javier Mendez (via Yahoo Sports), he’s the second-best conditioned heavyweight he’s trained, behind only Cain Velasquez, who is generally considered the hardest trainer and best-conditioned heavyweight in the sport. “He is the best student I’ve ever had. every day he comes to practice 10 to 15 minutes early. He’s never late. Every day he gets better. For a normal 47-year-old, it would be a big disaster.”
However Mendez goes on to say putting things in perspective. “When he started, he didn’t even know how to throw a punch correctly. He had terrible footwork for boxing. But he picked it up that quick. It would take a normal pro fighter one year to two years to progress as fast as he has.
“He’s not an elite fighter,” Mendez continues. “When he spars, right now he can just edge out guys who have had about six fights. But if I had three years with him, he could be an elite fighter.”
Herschel’s debut fight is scheduled on Jan. 30 on a Showtime-aired Strikeforce card against heavyweight Greg Nagy (1-1) at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla. Herschel should have a significant fitness advantage but could be overmatched in experience Nagy, 26, who is 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds is a virtual unknown, but has been training for about two years.