|Heavyweight (Per 1/20)|
|6.||Mirko Cro Cop
|Light HW (per 1/20)|
|Middleweight (per 1/20)|
|Welterweight (per 1/20)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 1/20)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
Eddie Walker is a name that has been popping up more and more over the past few years, first in relation with K-1’s resurgence here in the United States, which equated to nothing but false starts for him. Finally Eddie Walker got his shot at the big time when Lion Fight called him up and offered him the fight with Joe Schilling. Schilling is one of the bigger names here in the United States muay thai scene and it was a fight that Walker had been looking to take for a while. The talk was that Eddie was out of his league, that he didn’t stand a chance, and it was no doubt a rough fight for him, until he knocked Joe out.
That set the scene for Walker signing with Glory and appearing in one of their Road to GLORY USA events, fighting in a one-night tournament with himself and Mike Lemaire as the big names. It was fate that evening as Walker cruised through the first few rounds of the tournament before the big main event between Lemaire and Walker went down, a tough fight between two of the better fighters at 187lbs in America with Lemaire walking away with the victory but Walker impressing Glory officials. It turns out that Steve Wakeling didn’t have an opponent for GLORY 5 London after Schilling and Marcus fell through, so he gladly accepted.
“I’m glad to be involved with Glory,” he stated while walking home from his day job as a manager at a recycling plant. “I guess that I impressed Cor and them with my last fight, so they offered me this fight and I was glad to take it.”
Walker divides his time between two careers and a family life, something that not many fighters have to do anymore, but Kickboxing and Muay Thai don’t pay like MMA does, which leaves him working a fulltime job, the same job that he has worked at for 13 years now. His schedule is grueling, to say the least, with him waking up at 4am each day to get in an early morning workout before he heads to work, gets out of work at 3pm and heads home to take care of his kids before his wife comes home. Then after his wife comes home it is straight to the gym where Walker works on honing his skills and preparing for his next fight before it is back home for dinner and rest before starting it all over again.
“It’s exhausting,” he laughed after explaining his day-to-day. “Muay Thai and Kickboxing just don’t pay enough for me to do this full time. MMA might pay that much, but I just don’t have the time to dedicate to the training to feel prepared for MMA right now. So yeah, for now I’m sticking with the job.”
If he were younger and had less responsibilities he might be able to do more in the way of training, but with a family to support he knows that he has to take the hard road. It doesn’t stop him from noticing how younger guys don’t understand what they have, though. “Man, I see these 19, 20 year old kids and they don’t work a fulltime job, they don’t have a family and they half-ass it in the gym. They show up for their fights and they are all out of shape and they look terrible. You gotta put in the work to be a fighter and most aren’t willing to do that.”
Family plays an important role in Walker’s life, as much as he loves fighting and would love to do it fulltime, he understands how important they are and that they come first for him. His wife, Ashley, plays a vital role in his fighting career as well. “My wife is a graphic designer,” he explained. “So she had this idea to take some photos from all of my knockouts and blow them up and hang them up around the house. So I have these ‘Knockout Walls’ all around, it’s kind of cool. She does a lot for me, my marketing and PR, she designed my website, too.”
When asked if he’d like to add Wakeling to his wall, he seemed happy at that prospect. “Oh absolutely, that would be great. Steve’s a great guy, though. I have nothing bad to say about him. I know that there is some promotional video floating around of me saying that I’m gonna knock him out and all of that, but I don’t like trash talk. This is a professional sport and I’m not here to do that crap.”
I was quick to point out that his previous opponent, Joe Schilling, is well known for his trash talk, which seemed like a sore subject for him, as was a rematch. “You know, I respect the guy. The way that fight even started was on Facebook. I made a post asking if I should watch the fight between Marcus and Schilling, two guys that I wanted to fight, or the fight between Tate and Sahak, two guys that I’m friends with. Well, Joe and I were Facebook friends at the time and he made a comment telling me to keep dreaming and whatever. So, you know [Andrew] Tate, right? Well, he and Joe went at it on there and it turned into this big thing.
“I just don’t like that trash talk stuff, we’re not in middle school anymore. We are professional fighters in a professional sport, there is no room for that. I found out that he had talked some trash on my wife as well, which you just don’t do. You don’t do that. I didn’t find that out until after the fight, either. I don’t want her to have to deal with that.”
So Walker goes into his fight with Steve Wakeling with a lot of respect for him and his skills as well as everyone else on the card. “Man, so many guys are fighting that I’m not sure that I’ll even show up on anyone’s radar for this fight. Even when I fought Schilling it was an arena full of Schilling fans or people asking me if I was the guy that was fighting Schilling. There are a ton of names on this card, I’ll just get lost in it,” he joked after I ran through the list of names on the card.
Even with his busy schedule, though, he still tries to make time for having some fun, or else he might go crazy from stress. The other day he posted a photo of him holding the new God of War game for PS3, which he laughed about. “That is my game, man. I don’t play a lot of games or anything, in fact, the last game that I played was the last God of War. But man, that is my game, I love them. I had to pick it up right away. Even then, I only got to play for like an hour last night after the kids went to bed, when my wife was just staring at me I knew that I had to stop.”
So while Eddie Walker might not have finished God of War: Ascension before his fight with Steve Wakeling at GLORY 5 London, let’s hope that he has the time after the fight to just sit back and relax for a while. On March 23rd Eddie Walker will meet Steve Wakeling in London on a stacked card headlined by Remy Bonjasky vs. Tyrone Spong.