Eight-man tournament, ten-man tournament, main event title fight, it doesn’t matter. Give Alfred Walker a call and he’ll show up.
“It’s been a journey, let’s just say that,” Walker said on his immediate jump to card staple in Tulsa, Oklahoma’s promotion, XFN.
Walker jumped from MMA to kickboxing and had immediate success. After taking a sabbatical from combat sports to focus on his new career at Union Pacific Railways, Walker opened himself up to a new challenge, as if MMA wasn’t hard enough. The blue-collar workhorse would not only be making his kickboxing debut, but he would be entering his first one-night tournament.
“I hadn’t been doing anything,” Walker explained. “I hadn’t been training, I had dedicated my time to working for the railroad. I sat and thought about it and I decided I needed to do something and get active. I went to a fight and I told (XFN’s) Dale (Cook), ‘Man, if I don’t do it now, I’ll probably never do it. You can count me in.’”
In true workaholic fashion, Walker put his nose to the grindstone to prepare for completely uncharted territory for himself.
Walker would go from years away from a gym to the finals of a one-night kickboxing tournament with only two months’ preparation and found himself in the finals. Despite losing to Brian Foster in the finals, Walker let out a sigh of relief and realized that he was back.
The close-knit community of XFN guarantees tight bonds between the fighters. The positives and negatives of the small community balance themselves out evenly. You know your opponents inside and out and you’re guaranteed fights, but you’re also just as easy to dissect.
You’re also forced to gain a large amount of respect, even friendship, with the men you sweat and bleed with multiple times a night. Even with this in mind, Walker takes great pride in the fact that the next man up is the next man to get hurt.
“If their name comes on that contract, it’s you or me and I don’t plan on backing down,” Walker said. “That’s one thing that Dale can vouch for me. Any name they’ve ever sent me, we ain’t turned down not one.”
The list of names have seemingly run out and Walker still wants more. XFN 373 presents him a new opponent with new challenges. No trilogy bouts or rematches this time. Walker is ready to test himself against British kickboxing champion Matt Probin.
“The Freight Train” responsible for 150-200 tickets sold per show promises that this fight will be no different than an other just because he’s a new opponent he’s ready to go and “Apollo” Cook would have no problem vouching for that either.
Catch Alfred Walker’s return to the XFN cage Saturday, August 14, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!