Mann Talk – Who is shocked by Walker vs. Canseco?

Comedian Lewis Black makes his living by driving fans to laughter by overdoing his Type A personality. Up until very recently I found it a bit unbelievable that someone could get so upset by “if it weren’t for my horse, I wouldn’t have spent that year in college.” However, I am now beginning to understand his rage.

After staying up all night working on a paper about the over-exaggerated impact of Title IX on NCAA wrestling, I woke up and checked the MMA blogs. When I arrived at Yahoo Sports’ Cagewriter I was greeted with the following headline “Jose Canseco training photo: He could inflict serious hurt on MMA.”

Yes, if you haven’t already heard Hong Man Choi’s former tooth pick is training with Cesar Gracie. He hopes to fight Herschel Walker in Strikeforce. Naturally the MMA blogs are shocked. The basic sentiment is, “how could Strikeforce let this happen or what about our sport?” This is when my inner-Lewis Black began to seep out.

How does this shock anyone? I give you the following press release from the past:

ProElite an entertainment and media company dedicated to producing world-class mixed martial arts (MMA) events, today announced it has partnered with top television producer Mark Burnett to develop exclusive, multi-program MMA content for network TV.

The currently untitled initial series centers on former football and baseball stars, Herschel Walker and Jose Canseco, respectively, who together with a group of other former pros, train as a team to cross over into the sport of mixed martial arts. These athletes will fight with select EliteXC fighters in each episode with the series finale featuring a famous celebrity athlete match up. Additionally, episode highlights and interactive features for the shows produced will reside on ProElite.com.

That’s right! The former empire of Gary Shaw and $kala had planned an entire reality show around Herschel Walker and Jose Canseco. Who was pulling the strings then? Showtime. Who is pulling Strikeforce’s strings now? Showtime. After the first time they showed Walker in the audience at a show it became clear to me that we were headed for Walker vs. Canseco.

The saddest thing about Strikeforce’s growth as a promotion has been the dominating influence of people who know very little about MMA. Showtime’s involvement has brought us not only the MMA debut of Walker, but also Mike Whitehead vs. Kevin Randleman on the main card, the inability to ever see Jay Hieron fight and of course Wes Sims on a main card.

Prior to their partnership with Showtime, hardcore fans had a sort of love affair with Strikeforce. Now they appear to be swimming dangerously close to Elite XC infested waters. The fight will bring in some mainstream attention. Surely PTI and Around The Horn will tackled the subject, but then again they also mention competitive hotdog eating once in a while. MMA fans will continually be fed a steady diet of things like Walker vs. Canseco, so get ready.

1 thought on “Mann Talk – Who is shocked by Walker vs. Canseco?”

  1. Good memory Richard… I somehow missed that old EliteXC plan of a Walker / Canseco show. You are right though, they are starting to pick up that Elite XC vibe. I just hope Scott Coker doesn’t sell his soul. I have faith in Coker that he will know where to draw the line, but you can never tell. Cesar Gracie said he could train Canseco to beat Walker in three months… so what. And why would he waste his time? To be associated with celebrity and maybe some money? It’s pretty sad really. Is MMA becoming the sport washed up and retired athletes turn to, to earn some cash and get back in the limelight?

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