Former NFL star Herschel Walker (2-0) may want to close out his brief MMA career in the octagon, but UFC President Dana White isn’t yet sold on the idea.
“I’ll have to talk to him,” White said following a pre-event press conference for tonight’s UFC 158 event in Montreal. “First of all, the athletic commission would have to approve that.”
It’s been more than two years since Walker, who earlier this month celebrated his 51st birthday, stepped into the cage. He recently expressed a desire to compete in MMA again after two fights in the now-defunct Strikeforce promotion.
A return seemed unlikely when UFC parent company Zuffa purchased Strikeforce two months after his most recent fight, which came in January 2011. But according to Walker, that wasn’t for a lack of desire.
“I’d love to do it again,” Walker recently told the LaVar Arrington Show with Chad Dukes (106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C.). “I absolutely love MMA. I think it’s an excellent sport.”
A lifelong martial artist, Walker worked with the famed American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif., to prepare for the experience of fighting in MMA. Sporting the physique of an athlete far his junior, he earned two TKO victories over unheralded competition in the heavyweight division.
Still, White seemed skeptical about the idea of granting the former running back and Olympian a final fight, though he believed Walker’s fight contract is still valid.
The UFC executive has reason for concern. While the heavyweight division is generally considered to be less dense in talent, Walker likely would enter the cage against far more experienced opponents, which might present problems getting his fight sanctioned. A less-experienced opponent could be signed, however.
If Walker got the green light, he would become the second-oldest man to compete inside the octagon after Ron Van Clief, who had two months on the former footballer when he appeared at UFC 4 in 1994.
(Pictured: Herschel Walker)
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