Former Heisman Trophy winner and two-time NFL Pro Bowler Herschel Walker won his MMA debut Saturday night in Strikeforce: Miami, defeating Greg Nagy with a third-round technical knockout by strikes.
Strikeforce president Scott Coker said at the postmatch news conference that Walker had donated his entire six-figure fight purse to a Dallas-based charity.
Walker (1-0) dominated Nagy (1-2) from the start, according to USA Today. Walker, 47, was on the offensive for nearly the entire fight and was able to take Nagy to the mat in all three rounds, the article said. By the end, Nagy was doing nothing but covering up.
ESPN.com reports that Walker?s fighting style was unorthodox in that he stood upright and shimmied as he looked for openings. It didn?t matter, though, because Walker was able to get Nagy on the ground, where he was more comfortable, the article said.
?This was very tough,? Walker told the Web site. ?This was the hardest thing I?ve ever done.?
Gregg Doyel, a columnist for CBSSports.com, took a much more cynical approach to Walker?s debut, calling the victory ?predetermined.? He claims that ?Nagy is not impressive in the sense of being an actual fighter,? and that the only reason Strikeforce matched him up against Walker was so Walker could win.
Doyel goes on to say that Walker ?was super-stiff in the cage? and that ?he moved like a mummy.? He compares Walker?s fighting style to ?the robot dance? and concludes that ?Herschel Walker doesn?t have a future in MMA? unless ?he?s content to fight similarly unskilled opponents and win on sheer athletic ability.?
For what it?s worth, Walker made no commitment to a future in MMA, telling ESPN.com that he would allow his trainers to decide if he would fight again.
Walker won the Heisman Trophy at Georgia in 1982. He went on to play three seasons for the New Jersey Generals of the USFL before playing 12 seasons in the NFL with the Cowboys, Vikings, Eagles and Giants.
He is perhaps best remembered for the trade that sent him from Dallas to Minnesota in 1989. The Cowboys received five players and eight draft picks in return for Walker and four picks. They used two of those picks to draft running back Emmitt Smith and defensive back Darren Woodson, two of the cornerstones of Dallas? three championship teams in the 1990s. In 2001, ESPN.com?s Page 2 listed the deal as the eighth most lopsided trade in sports history.