Dear Mr. Ryan,

Hey man, I’m wondering if Strikeforce is ever gonna give Herschel Walker a fighter that will knock his d**k in the dirt anytime soon, so that we can be spared this pathetic display of fighting.

I’m sure the Herschmeister’s probably a good dude and all, but the one fight he had was painful to watch. And against a concession stand worker at that. Can’t Strikeforce just say good-bye to Hersch?

I just don’t wanna see him roll around on the mat with an upstart fighter who’s been thrown in with him.

Evan Marriott, aka “Joe Millionaire”

 

Dear Evan,

As always Evan, you have a very interesting and honest way of putting things. Thank you.

I know that you’re not the only one who has been getting frustrated with Strikeforce for not putting bigger names in against Herschel Walker.

For starters, I guess I immediately have to ask myself a couple of questions:

Should Walker be fighting a higher calibre of fighter, given that he is not expected to have a very lengthy career (mainly because of his age)?

Or better yet, do the fans deserve to see Walker fighting against a higher calibre of fighter, especially considering that the fight is going to be aired on the main card of the second largest MMA Promotion in North America?

There’s no doubt that Walker is on the main card because of who he is, and what he had previously accomplished as an athlete/sports celebrity, as opposed to what he has accomplished as a professional fighter. That much is obvious. How many other professional fighters would ever find themselves on the main card of a major PPV event with a measly record of only 1-0?

Or worse yet, a record of 0-0, as was the case around this time last year when Walker made his Strikeforce debut.

Quick answer: None. And I sincerely doubt that it will ever happen again (which kinda makes me wonder why more people don’t just enjoy it for what it is).

Should Walker be on the main card?

That question is easily answered by asking another question: Do the fans really want to see him fight?

For the most part, I believe that the answer is “yes.”

Even at the ripe old age of 48, Walker is without a doubt an athletic freak of nature (I mean that with all due respect. Walker performs 2,500 sit-ups and 1,500 push-ups every day! Yes, that is correct!), and he has over 33-years of experience, training in martial arts (tae kwon do). So, I would say that athletically, Walker is probably in better shape than...oh I don’t know...every other fighter who currently competes in MMA!

And it’s not like he spent his life playing baseball or some other non-contact sport (yes, that’s a Canseco dig) and this whole MMA thing is just some mid-life crisis, social experiment so that he can grab a quick paycheque. Sure, Walker excelled in professional football, but he has always followed the sport of MMA and he has always trained in the sport of MMA (to a certain extent, anyway).

Walker’s actual age might be fast approaching the half-century mark, but his actual physical age can’t be any higher than 25 (that’s my own personal guess).

Based on that alone, I would not be the slightest bit surprised if Walker were able to compete in mixed martial arts for at least the next ten to twenty years, assuming of course that he can remain relatively injury or concussion free.

But in order to do so, he will need to pace himself and slowly develop his skills.

In a recent interview that I did with the current, number one, UFC featherweight contender, Mark “the Machine” Hominick, he had some really sound advice for young (in terms of career) fighters:

“I think one thing that young fighters coming up have to remember, is that the sport and a career in MMA are both marathons—not sprints.

“There are so many different aspects of the game that need to be covered, and amateur experience is key to ensuring that they are ready for competition. Many fighters try to compete too soon when they are not ready and end up getting deterred or hurt before they are physically and mentally prepared.”

In other words, as it relates to Herschel Walker—Walker is pacing himself in a way that is both appropriate and necessary to his long-term success as a fighter. He needs to grow in stages and challenge himself against guys who will test his newly acquired skills.

I doubt that even Walker knows for sure how long he plans on fighting for, but I do know enough about the man to appreciate that he never sets limitations on himself (nor should anybody for that matter), which is the exact same reason why he has been able to accomplish so much in his athletic life.

So then, why the impatience by the fans to rush Walker through the gauntlet?

It’s because people look at his age and assume that he’s finished before he’s even really started.

My feeling however, is that it is a mistake for fans to set limitations on a man like Herschel Walker, and it is unfair to treat him any differently than they would any other fighter with his experience level.

I really think that people just need to get their heads wrapped around the fact that Herschel Walker didn’t enter into this world pre-packaged with an expiry date.

The guy is unquestionably different from the rest of us and we should all just start accepting (and enjoying) that fact.

“I know where he is coming from. Some of us refuse to get old. LOL He is quite the athlete.”—Dr. John Williams, 70-year old mixed martial arts fighter and 3-time Guinness world record holder

Thanks again Evan, and enjoy the fights this weekend my friend.

JR

 

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