Sunday, January 31, 2010

Herschel Walker kicks butt

One of the greatest athletes pro football has ever seen, shows he's still got it at 47.

Walker a winner in mixed martial arts debut
Walker’s endurance was sensational, but he looked stiff in his standup game and didn’t have a good concept of what he was doing on the ground. According to CompuStrike, Walker landed 77 of 106 strikes overall, an amazing 73 percent. He connected on 69 of 91 on the ground. Nagy landed just seven punches.
“This was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Walker said.

Gregg Doyel points out that Walker's robotic victory over nobody won't make Walker somebody in MMA, but that sort of misses the point. Walker doesn't need a new professional career. Meeting a challenge is accomplishment enough.
Herschel says his MMA debut was a mixed bag
Walker was unclear on his future. It's unlikely that he'll take another fight. There really is no need to. Just like his football career and appearance in the Olympics, Walker proved his point. He's stil one of the world's great athletes even at 47.

Ageless Walker does sport, self proud
Walker’s conditioning was superb and he was barely breathing hard when he got off Nagy after referee Troy Waugh had seen enough and stopped the bout. Contrast that with the performance of about half the cast of Season 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” heavyweights who seemed to gas literally 30 or 45 seconds into the fight.
Walker has long been a martial artist – he has a sixth-degree black belt in taekwondo – and decided to try to fight in MMA as a way to challenge himself. He treated the sport, his opponent, the media and the fans with the utmost respect. He prepared at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif., one of the elite camps in the country, and worked as hard or harder than any of the camp’s many MMA stars he worked alongside.
His trainer, Javier Mendez, was comparing Walker’s conditioning to the UFC’s Cain Velasquez, who might be the most well-conditioned big man in the sport. Velasquez could probably fight five 10-minute rounds if he needed to, and Mendez put Walker in the same league.
“He said, ‘This guy can go as much as Cain in the gym,’ ” Coker said. “He said, ‘His gas tank is as big as Cain’s.’ This was his journey to test himself and he did it.”
Walker picked apart his game, noting more of the mistakes he made than the good things he did. But he was clearly proud.
As NFL fans, we associate Walker with The Trade, and maybe not quite fulfilling the ridiculous expectations of him coming out of college -- he had a great career, yet perhaps still a disappointing one. But maybe we miss the forest of his talent for the trees of how he was used. 6th-degreee black belt in tae kwin do, nearly made the Olympic sprint relay team, '92 Olympic bobsled team. Now this.


Herschel Walker donates entire fight purse to Dallas charity


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