Herschel Walker shocked the world again on Saturday night when he won his second professional MMA fight at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg on Saturday night.
Walker looked excellent as he dominated the fight, eventually defeating Scott Carson by TKO near the end of the first round.
Before he stepped in the cage, Walker talked about displaying his improved stand-up skills in this fight, but thing quickly changed when Carson hit him with a head kick early in the round.
The kick enraged the 48-year-old as he screamed back before flooring Carson with a punch. From there, the ground and pound game was on and there was very little that Carson could do before the referee could step in and stop the carnage.
Not only did Walker’s skills look improved but he also put his incredible physique on display for the world to see.
While most athletes are throwing in the towel at or before they turn 35, Walker remains in tremendous physical form even as he approaches his 50s.
Not only is he in great condition, but he’s in the kind of condition that makes you truly wonder how someone could possibly look like that while still passing a drug test.
But Walker isn’t alone as an athlete who looks great in even past his 40th birthday.
These 10 athletes can stand next to Herschel as athletes who still look great in their elder years.
The only member of a team sport to make this list is hockey legend Chris Chelios.
Chelios retired from professional hockey just five months ago at the feisty, young age of 48. He is the second oldest player to have ever played in the NHL, surpassing Moe Roberts, and only behind the legendary Gordie Howe.
He has played in more playoff games than any player in NHL history and became the oldest player to win the Stanley Cup when he and the Detroit Red Wings did so in 2008.
The defenseman is a sure-fire Hall of Famer who used his excellent conditioning to play more professional games in the NHL than any other American-born player in league history.
Though he doesn’t have the bulging muscles that some of the other athletes on this list do, Chelios remained in peak physical form until his retirement.
Okay, this one is a bit of a cheat as Klitschko is actually only 39, but he is quickly approaching his 40th birthday in July 2011.
The older of the two dominant Klitschko brothers, Vitali holds a 41-2 professional boxing record with an astounding 38 wins coming by knockout. Klitschko has never been knocked out or even knocked down in a professional boxing bout.
His incredible record as a professional has earned him the right to call himself the World Boxing Council (WBC) Heavyweight Champion of the World.
Klitschko admitted to testing positive for a banned substance back in 1996 but attributed it to treatment for a leg injury. Still, 15 years later, Klitschko remains in prime physical condition as the consensus No. 2 heavyweight boxer in the world, behind only his younger brother, Wladimir.
Who would have thought that a 47-year old man could still have a physique like this?
While Couture isn’t quite the muscular monster that Herschel Walker is, he still looks excellent for a guy who many thought would be out of the business five years or longer ago.
One of just eight members of the UFC Hall of Fame, Couture has spent his career competing at an extremely high level and has to be considered one of the true all-time greats. His 23 fights in the Octagon are tied with Chuck Liddell for second all-time (behind only Matt Hughes’ 24) and he’s not done yet.
Couture made his MMA debut at UFC 13 in May 1997 at the age of 34. He would win his first UFC Heavyweight championship three years later when he defeated Kevin Randleman.
He would win the title again, 10 years later at age 44 when he defeated Tim Sylvia in May 2007. Couture exposed Sylvia, dominating all aspects of the contest in a fight that many say changed the course of Sylvia’s once-dominant career.
But perhaps his most famous moment came when he defeated the legendary Chuck Liddell to win the interim UFC Light Heavyweight championship in 2003.
Though Liddell later defeated Couture twice, the first fight allowed Couture to become one of only two UFC fighters to hold titles at two separate weight classes, cementing his place in UFC history.
That’s right, at 74 years old; Ernestine Shepherd is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Oldest Performing Female Body Builder.
Shepherd began working out at the age of 56. She now wakes up at 3 a.m. every morning and spends her days running and lifting weights. It’s not just a light workout, either. Ernestine runs up to 80 miles per week and can bench press 150 pounds.
In addition to her work as a body builder, Shepherd also works as a certified personal trainer at her gym. She claims to have no physical pain in her body at all and has not suffered a significant injury in the 17 years she has been training.
At 5’5” and 130 pounds, Shepherd carries just 9 to 10 percent body fat—numbers that are generally reserved for only elite male athletes.
Evander Holyfield is the only boxer in history with the claim of being the five-time World Heavyweight Champion. He is also a former World Cruiserweight champion and holds wins over legends such as George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Michael Moorer, Riddick Bowe, and he has defeated Mike Tyson twice.
Even at 48, Holyfield is considered one of the best heavyweight boxers in the world. He has publicly stated his desire to fight current WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko but reportedly must get through Sherman Williams and Brian Nielsen before earning the shot at the belt.
Holyfield most recently competed on July 22 when he fought to a no contest with Williams due to a cut he suffered when the two fighters clashed heads in round three.
No rematch has been publicly announced by Holyfield is scheduled to face Sherman Williams on March 5 in Denmark.
Though his body looks a bit more damaged than some of the others on this list, Mark Coleman remains one of the most ripped athletes in the world over the age of 40.
A former NCAA and Olympic wrestler, Coleman is the former UFC Heavyweight Champion and was also crowned the PRIDE Fighting Championships 2000 Open Weight Grand Prix Champion. He was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in at UFC 82.
Though Coleman was released by the UFC following his loss to fellow 40-plus year old UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture at UFC 109, he has expressed interest in continuing his mixed martial arts career.
Perhaps a fight in Strikeforce against another 40-plus year old fighter, Herschel Walker, is in order?
Some people don’t think of professional wrestlers as “athletes” but those people have apparently never seen the kind of shape these performers need to be in.
At age 42, Kurt Angle may very well be the best professional wrestler in the world today.
Angle’s professional wrestling career began in 1998 but that only came after he retired as one of the world’s greatest amateur wrestlers of all-time. Angle was the 1996 Olympic Games Men’s Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medalist at 100 kg.
It was obvious that Angle would become a star in professional wrestling almost immediately but his amateur wrestling career left him with questions regarding his health, specifically regarding a fractured vertebrae injury he suffered while taking part in the 1996 Olympic Trials.
Angle has stayed in incredible physical condition throughout his career, though, and has established himself as one of the absolute greatest wrestlers of the past decade and perhaps of all-time.
Dana Torres became the first swimmer in United States history to compete in five Olympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2008), and became the oldest swimmer ever to earn a place on the U.S. Olympic team when she did so at age 41.
Torres has won 12 total Olympic medals throughout her career, five of which she did in the 2000 Summer Games at age 33.
She has won at least one medal in each of the five Olympics she has competed in, making her one of only a handful of Olympians to ever accomplish that feat.
In Aug. 2007, Torres broke her own American record in the 50-meter freestyle, 26 years after she set the record at age 15.
Despite going through reconstructive knee surgery, Torres stated in Sept. 2010 that she had begun training to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. If she accomplishes her goal, she will be performing at age 44.
Triple H is best known as one of professional wrestling’s most dominant personalities of the past decade-plus. Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) Magazine credited him as the Wrestler of the Decade from 2000-2009.
Though he has suffered more than his fair share of disastrous injuries, Levesque is also known for having one of the best physiques that the sport has ever seen.
In fact, sometimes it seems as if he is in better shape returning from an injury than he was prior to the injury—the guy is just that crazy about getting back into the ring and performing.
Triple H is a 13-time Heavyweight champion and may be the heir to his father-in-law, Vince McMahon’s, WWE throne.
Following in the footsteps of fellow wrestlers-turned-fighters Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley, Dave Batista decided to hang up his pro wrestling boots in order to take a shot at mixed martial arts in May 2010.
Batista is one of the most well-built athletes that the sport of professional wrestling has ever seen. Of course, it helps when you started off as a body builder before breaking into the business at age 31.
Though he has not signed a contract with any company yet, he was spotted only a few weeks after his pro wrestling retirement at the Strikeforce: Los Angeles event in June 2010.
Rumors have since been flying about whether he had signed with the company, some of which came from Batista himself, but no formal announcement has been made regarding the move.
While we haven’t seen much of him since his professional wrestling retirement, there is little doubt that “The Animal” is staying in shape as he prepares to make his mixed martial arts debut.
When he does, he may very well rival Brock Lesnar as one of the scariest looking monsters in the sport.