Herschel Walker wins MMA debut
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – Former NFL star Herschel Walker stopped Hungarian fighter Greg Nagy in the third round Saturday night to win his mixed-martial arts debut.
Walker drove Nagy into the fence early in the third. After a flurry of punches, referee Troy Waugh called the fight.
“The experience was exciting,” Walker said. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
Still trim and fit at 47, Walker used his strength advantage to wear down the 26-year-old Nagy (1-2). He appeared to be close to the win near the end of the second five-minute round, but Nagy managed to extend the bout.
Walker was the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner while at Georgia and played professionally for Dallas, Philadelphia, Minnesota, the New York Giants and the USFL’s New Jersey Generals.
In his football days, Walker dropped jaws with a workout regimen that included upwards of 3,000 situps and pushups everyday. He also holds a fifth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Walker, a 1992 U.S. Olympian in the two-man bobsled, turned his attention to MMA about 2 1/2 months ago when he moved to San Jose, Calif., to train at renowned American Kickboxing Academy. He prepared for his debut by practicing against Jon Fitch and Cain Velasquez.
“They’re the ones that got me here,” Walker said. “We sparred three days a week to get me ready.”
Despite some raggedness, his first fight went far better than those of former baseball slugger Jose Canseco, who lasted just 78 seconds in his debut last July, or ex-NFL receiver Johnnie Morton, who was carried out on a stretcher.
Among those in Saturday night’s crowd was New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, whose TV interview was met with boos from Miami Dolphins fans in the arena.