Herschel Walker (1-0) is best known to the world as an elite running back from his days in the NFL and playing college football at the University of Georgia. In January, he made his debut as an MMA fighter when he took on Greg Nagy at a Strikeforce event in Miami. Walker, who was 47 years old at the time of the fight, defeated Nagy with a third round TKO stoppage.
While most fighters have long been retired by their late forties, Walker is just getting started. And in an interview with Ariel Helwani of Fanhouse.com, he talks about his future in the sport.
“Yes, I will fight again. I hope to fight again. You know, I’m doing the same thing I did before. Leaving it in Javier [Mendez] and Bob Cook and Dave Camarillo of AKA, leaving it into their hands,” Walker explained. “I’m still young. Even though I enjoy this. I’m still young. So I’m still learning but I leave it to the trainers and all my fighters at the gym.”
Many observers are quick to note that Greg Nagy was not much of a test for Walker’s debut. Nagy has only one win in four fights. Walker defeating Nagy didn’t prove very much to serious MMA fans. Walker spoke of his desire to climb the ladder in terms of the level of competition he faces in his second fight.
“I hope it takes place probably toward the end of the year. One thing I want to do is step up a little bit. I want to thank Greg [Nagy] for giving me the opportunity to fight. My next fight which I want to step up a little bit more. And if I’m gonna do that, I’m going to have to train a little bit longer. You gotta take this seriously. This is a serious sport. It’s very tough. It’s tough being a fighter. And for myself, I want to step up so I’m going to have a train a little bit longer this time.”
Walker talked about his motivation, saying “This is competition. I didn’t get into it as a job. I know this couldn’t be a job for me. It was something I wanted to compete at. You got to have fun at it. And that’s what I want to tell all the people out there, all the fighters, if you’re not having fun at this here, don’t do it. Because this is too serious. It’s too hard. If you’re not having fun, don’t do it.”
UFC president Dana White has been critical of Walker and the attention he’s received in the sport. Walker doesn’t seem overly concerned with the criticism.
“Dana says a lot of things. And I respect Dana a great deal because he’s done a lot for this sport. I respect him a great deal but I think people take Dana for what he’s worth. He’s done a lot for this sport. He’s put on a lot of good events. But you know one thing Dana’s got to realize is that I’m in this sport because I love it. I never got into it as a media anything. I don’t need media attention. So whatever I can do to help this sport. It’s sad sometimes it’s jealousy from his side. Because he’s not the only show in town right now.”
Walker will hope to shed some light on whether White’s criticism is justified when he steps into the cage for a second time later this year.