Luis Cruz reporting…
Herschel Walker was a special guest at the press conference for Pride. I caught up with the NFL legend for a few moments to see what his status and opinion was on MMA.
MMANews.com- I’m here with Herschel Walker. Herschel, did you start watching MMA when it began being televised on PPV in 1993?
H.W.- Yea I did, I’ve been watching mixed martial arts for years. I’ve been watching it, I think, since it was illegal. I’ve been in mixed martial arts myself for about 30 years.
MMANews.com- What disciplines did you study?
H.W.- I started out in TKD and then studied in jiu jitsu. I did TKD for about 25 years and jiu jitsu for about 10 [years]. It’s one of the most disciplined sports I’ve ever been apart of. I’ll tell this to all of you, I think all kids in the United States should study in some form of martial arts. The reason why is it’s disciplined and it has nothing to do with fighting it’s got to do with discipline. That’s what we need, to discipline the kids, it shows a lot of honor and respect.
MMANews.com- Did it ever cross your mind to compete?
H.W.- Oh yea, it’s crossed my mind a great deal. I do so many crazy things and people are always saying I’m doing crazy things, and you always want to measure what you can do. One thing I like about Pride that I said earlier, I competed in Trite abroad and I’ve been on the Olympic bobsled team and I said that’s how you measure just how good you are, being up against everybody in the world and that’s what Pride does. They bring everyone out in the world to compete and if you’re going to say you’re the best in that weightclass, then get it in and see what you can do.
MMANews.com- What are your thoughts on the UFC?
H.W.- The UFC’s got a good sport, they’ve done very well in promoting MMA. I think they’ve opened the doors for a lot of what’s going on right now in the sport. They given a lot of publicity to the young people here that are just starting out here in the states and to get it legalized. I think your hat has to be off to them.
MMANews.com- Now if you choose not to fight, is there any job you would want behind the scenes with Pride?
H.W.- I always said I would like to own part of it. Not just get involved, own part of it. You know I’m the type of guy, I’ll tell you once, this is such a great thing here because it gives everyone a chance to compete. At the same time it opens the door for young people to see it’s not a brutal sport. People thing this is brutal, this is nothing like boxing. If a guy gets knocked down in Pride, the referee may give him a chance to get up, but if he can’t defend himself the fight is stopped. Whereas in boxing a guy may get dazed and keep walking around dazed and get his head beat in and that’s when serious injuries occur. Same as in football, you see guys get concussions and continue to play and then all of a sudden later on in life they have a serious injury. That’s why I said this is something that is controlled and this is something that I really enjoy.
MMANews.com- So you’re saying this is one of the safest sports out there?
H.W.- I say baseball is the safest sport. I shouldn’t say it because they’ll probably get made at me, but I think it’s safer than football.
MMANews.com- Ok Herschel one final question. I know you use to do like 1,000 or 2,000 crunches a day, do you still doing that, keeping in shape.
H.W.- Yea I’m still doing that and I still workout like a crazy person. I figure I’m going to be the George Foreman of football and at fifty make my comeback. [Laughs]
MMANews.com- [Laughs] Alright Herschel well thanks a lot.
H.W.- No problem man, anytime.