In heavyweight action, former NFL running back and 1982 Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker (1-0, 1-0 SF) will return to the cage after a successful debut at Strikeforce: Miami back in January of last year. The 48-year-old dispatched of fellow neophyte Greg Nagy in the third round via strikes after surviving the critical media reaction to his involvement in the sport in the lead-up to the event. Walker erased doubts that he could not only perform at such an old age, but also pick up some of the technique required to succeed.
Walker will now endure a second test of his continuing education in mixed martial arts. Unfortunately, the circumstances, an ongoing exam that will obviously never pan out to Walker having a career in the sport due to his age, somewhat limit the interest for myself and other fans. Scott Carson (4-1, 0-0 SF) hadn't fought in nine years until he recently re-entered the sport at an event in June. Unsurprisingly, he lost via knockout in only two minutes and fifty-four seconds.
Most fans aren't giving Carson much of a chance in this fight. One fight over the course of nine years will do that, and it's obvious that Strikeforce hand-picked Carson as an easier challenge for Walker. The match-up is, however, in line with where Walker currently is in his progression regardless of whether he has a future in the sport.
Walker may be a newbie in the sport, but a support system that consists of the excellent training partners and coaches of American Kickboxing Academy has made him, at the very least, respectable in his technical skills on the ground. His physical gifts give him an edge over most smaller heavyweights, and he doesn't have a shortage of gas in his tank either. While there is criticism in regards to his robotic stand-up game, it will be interesting to see if AKA has improved those skills.
I'll take Walker in this irrelevant showdown that is obviously only on the main card due to Walker's name. He has no future in the sport, nor does he claim to have one. He simply wants to fight to prove he can do it, and that's fine by me. Carson's return to MMA will only get harder with this bout against Walker, but at this low level -- anything can happen. I'll go with Walker.