Mark Coleman vs. Herschel Walker: Why This Fight Should Never Happen
A decade ago, it would have been nigh to think that NFL great Herschel Walker would fight former UFC Heavyweight Champion Mark Coleman.
Why would there have been? How likely was it Coleman would still be fighting by 2011 and that Walker would embark on a journey into MMA when he was 48 years old?
Yet, these seemingly impossible events have happened, and here we are in May 2011 where there is a significant amount of buzz around a potential fight between Herschel Walker and Mark Coleman.
Coleman even told MMAjunkie.com that "an opportunity to fight Herschel Walker would be something that [he] would drop everything [for] and try to train and prepare for him."
Despite Coleman's desire to meet the former football player in the cage, there are several reasons that this fight should not take place.
The Ages of Both Competitors
Both fighters are significantly older than the average fighter, as far as the sport of MMA is concerned, with Walker being 49 years of age and Coleman being two years younger.
While fighting at such an age is an incredible testament to the physical abilities and mental determination of these athletes, it is perhaps best for their bodies to stop before they are the victim of an unfortunate injury that ruins the rest of their lives.
It Will Be a One-Sided Affair
Many have criticized Strikeforce for making several of its fights complete mismatches—Matt Linland vs. Robby Lawler, Dan Henderson vs. Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante and Paul Daley vs. Scott Smith, to name a few.
If Coleman vs. Walker is allowed to happen, this will be one Strikeforce trend that continues under Zuffa ownership.
The fact of the matter is that Walker would be way overmatched in a fight against Coleman. Mark Coleman, despite a mediocre record at 16-10, has fought some of MMA's best competitors when they were in their primes, such as Fedor Emelianenko, Don Frye, Dan Severn, Pedro Rizzo, Igor Vovchanchyn, Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Walker, on the other hand, has faced Greg Nagy and Scott Carson, two fighters who would have never been heard of if not for Strikeforce needing someone Walker could beat.
Given such a massive difference in experience, Walker would be at a severe disadvantage and would be putting his health at risk by fighting Coleman.
Walker doesn't even match up well stylistically with the former Pride Openweight Grand Prix Champion!
Coleman is a highly skilled wrestler and will be able to exploit Walker's lack of a wrestling base in MMA—even when one takes into account that Walker trains at the famed American Kickboxing Academy with such wrestling standouts as Jon Fitch, Daniel Cormier and Josh Koscheck.
If Coleman could manage to beat a younger, more experienced competitor in Stephan Bonnar, he would have no problem with Walker.
It Will Damage the Credibility of MMA
First, putting a fighter with 26 fights—many of which were against top-level competition—against a fighter with two fights against very poor competition, is never a good thing.
Herschel Walker gets attention from many news outlets when he fights, and his likely beat down may not be received positively in the mainstream media.
In addition to this, the potential match is basically a "freakshow fight," i.e. it just draws people in with the novelty of the matchup rather than the skill of the two combatants or the implications of the fight.
Hong-Man Choi vs. Fedor Emelianenko has been provided as an example. Emelianenko was not fighting a fighter of his caliber and the fight had no implications. It was being done for the novelty of seeing Emelianenko fight a giant Korean Kickboxer.
It Will Take Up Valuable Space on a Card
The sport of MMA is growing by leaps and bounds.
Thus, putting two older competitors, who won't be around much longer on a fight card, would be a crime since there are younger fighters just dying for a big break.
Most fans would rather see the talent of tomorrow rather than the talent of not even yesterday but the day before yesterday!
Of course, all of this is not to say that Walker and Coleman are "bad" in anyway. They are still phenomenal athletes for their age, and most men can only dream to be in their shape in their 20s and 30s, let alone late 40s!
It is just that there are no good reasons for having them fight; nothing good can come from it besides a marginal increase in revenue on one fight card.