“Jose walked in to our gym and said, ’hey, I would love to train with you guys. You own three of the belts in Strikeforce. I believe you’re the best camp out there.’ Why wouldn’t we train the guy? Because he wrote a book about baseball and steroids? He’s just like anybody else walking in off the street,” Gracie told MMAWeekly.com content partner
TapouT Radio about training Canseco.
“If a promotion wants to give him a fight, it’s like if anyone else walking off the street wanted to fight, so I’m not going to say no. I’m going to say come on in, and it’s kind of a challenge for me,” added Gracie.
“Can we teach this guy who has no ability in MMA, and can we get him in three months, not to fight a contender, because I wouldn’t even waste my time, but to fight a guy like Herschel Walker? Who, to his credit, has learned some MMA and everything. That would be the challenge on my part, so I said, ’Yeah, come on in. Let’s try this challenge. Let’s try to make it where you beat this guy,’ and that’s it. That’s my mindset on that.”
Canseco has drawn recent attention fueled by Walker’s MMA debut on Jan. 30 in Strikeforce, which received national press. Asked about the match up, Gracie answered, “That’s more for the entertainment part of it. I’ve read some of this stuff too, and I’ve talked to people and they’re like, ‘it’s a farce,’ and ‘it’s a spectacle,’ as if two people fighting in a cage for money isn’t a spectacle, but whatever. People have got to slow down a little bit. This is entertaining. I mean, if you don’t have Jose Canseco than who the hell is Herschel Walker going to fight? Think about that.”
Gracie doesn’t think Canseco fighting is any different than Walker fighting and believes a bout between the two would generate big television ratings.
“I like Herschel. He’s a great guy. I’ve met him and I’ve talked to him. I’ve got a lot of respect for the guy. He’s a phenomenal athlete, and then all of a sudden he wants to dabble in MMA. That’s great. And here’s Jose Conseco, I understand the bad guy for writing a book about steroids which all came out to be true. You can hate on the guy or whatever, but he wants to do it too,” said Gracie.
“I mean let’s face it, this is a money industry. Let’s not make no qualms about that. There would be no UFC, no Strikeforce, no MMA really if people weren’t paying to watch, and I guarantee you’d have well over a million people watching Conseco fight Herschel Walker. It would bring so many fans to the sport.”
Gracie quickly pointed out that he’s not trying to get this fight put together. “I’m not a promoter, and I’m by no means trying to push for this fight.”
But when asked the question about a bout between the two, Gracie certainly wasn’t opposed to it.
“Present it as it’s this football player fighting this baseball player. We’re not saying these guys can come in and fight contenders because they can’t. Neither of those guys can fight any kind of heavyweight contender because they’d get smashed, and that would be the circus,” said the trainer. “That would be so stupid. Who would want to watch that? But fighting each other, it’s like, well, you know, it’s going to introduce new fans to the sport. Maybe you could have the good guy Herschel Walker and the bad guy. I don’t know.”
Strikeforce has said they’re not interested in Canseco, but Canseco maintains he’s had talks with the organization.