STRIKEFORCE formally announced that legendary football superstar and unbeaten MMA fighter, Herschel Walker (1-0), of Wrightsville, Ga., will be opposed by Scott Carson (4-1), of Lake Forest, Calif., in a featured heavyweight matchup on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, live on SHOWTIMEÂ® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
The 6-foot-1 inch Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner and a 1999 College Hall of Fame inductee, holds a fifth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and boasts additional training in the combat disciplines of Muay Thai and Kenpo. He has been honing his MMA skills at world-renowned American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose, Calif., under head trainers Bob Cook and Javier Mendez.
So, who is Scott Carson?
â€œIâ€™ll tell you one thing. Iâ€™m a lot better fighter than the one Iâ€™ve been reading about on the Internet,â€™â€™ he said. â€œThis is a huge deal for me, a tremendous opportunity, but youâ€™d think I was nothing going off what has been written by some of these keyboard warriors, who I doubt have ever stepped in a cage. Itâ€™s a lot easier to sit in front of a computer and talk (stuff) than it is to actually fight.
â€œI am trying to take it all in stride, but I have no idea why some people are talking so negatively without ever having seen me. They donâ€™t know me. Iâ€™m pretty well-rounded with good standup and wrestling.
â€œThey say Iâ€™m old at 40 but I donâ€™t feel 40 and I certainly donâ€™t look 40. I think I look 30 and Iâ€™m in great shape. Iâ€™m ripped, just like Herschel.
â€œIâ€™m going to be more ready for Dec. 4 than I have for any other fight. I plan to shut up all the critics, each and every one of them. Let them write something factual after theyâ€™ve seen me on Dec. 4.
â€œIâ€™m really excited about fighting a great athlete like Herschel. Iâ€™m training every day. But the fact that some people arenâ€™t giving me a chance is only giving me extra motivation. This is going to be a great fight.â€™â€™
The 6-foot-2-inch Carson turned pro in September 1999 and won his initial four starts through June 2001. He is a former WEC veteran who scored a first-round submission victory over Bryson Haubrick at the very first WEC event.
After being sidelined with a back injury and due to several scheduled fights falling out, Carson didnâ€™t return to the cage until last June 12 in Los Angeles. A member of Reign Training Center in Lake Forest, he got knocked out in the first round by undefeated Lorenz Martin (3-0 going in, 5-0 now).
â€œI was out a long time because of my back and I did rehab for a while,â€™â€™ said Carson, who trained for years with Chuck Liddell before he joined Reign Training Center in Lake Forest. â€œI never thought much about not fighting again; I always wanted to come back.
â€œBut I couldnâ€™t do anything until I was 100 percent. Once I got healthy again, I got better the more I trained. Iâ€™ve helped a lot of guys get ready for fights while waiting for my chance. I had a few fights lined up before my last fight, but they all fell out for one reason or another.â€™â€™
The comebacking Carson makes no excuses for his last start, his first in nine years.
â€œIt got to the point for the longest time that all I did was train,â€™â€™ he said. â€œThen, the next thing we know, Iâ€™m fighting. I felt good going into that fight but just got caught. It can happen to anybody.â€™â€™
In the main event of a stacked card on STRIKEFORCECâ€™s return to Scottrade Center, MMA superstar Dan Henderson (25-8) of Temecula, Calif., faces former STRIKEFORCE light heavyweight world champion Renato â€œBabaluâ€ Sobral (36-8) of Brazil in a collision of world-class 205-pounders.
Other televised fights: Former world heavyweight champion Antonio â€œBig Footâ€™â€™ Silva (14-2), of Coconut Creek, Fla., by way of Brazil, faces the older brother of STRIKEFORCE heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, Valentijn â€œThe Pythonâ€™â€™ Overeem (28-23), of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Paul â€œSemtexâ€™â€™ Daley (25-9-2) of Nottingham, England, meets power puncher Scott â€œHands Of Steelâ€™ Smith (17-7, 1 NC), of Elk Grove, Calif., in a battle of explosive welterweights (170 pounds) and exciting local favorite â€œRuthlessâ€ Robbie Lawler (17-6, 1 NC), of Granite City, Ill., takes on 2000 Olympic Games silver medalist Matt â€œThe Lawâ€ Lindland (22-7) of Oregon City, Ore., in a middleweight (185 pounds) scrap.
St. Louis native and promising welterweight, Jesse Finney, will take on a foe to be announced in the top non-televised undercard scrap.
Tickets for the event are on sale at Scottrade Center, online at Ticketmaster.com and Strikeforce.com or by phone (800) 745-3000.
Doors at Scottrade Center will open for the event at 6 p.m. CT. The first preliminary bout will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the first SHOWTIME televised main card fight will begin at 9 p.m.