Herschel Walker to return Dec. 4

Herschel Walker will meet Scott Carson in a featured heavyweight bout at Strikeforce "Henderson vs. Babalu" on Dec. 4 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, the promotion's CEO Scott Coker confirmed to ESPN.com on Friday.

The bout, which will air live on Showtime, will mark the 48-year-old Walker's second professional MMA bout. The 12-season NFL veteran made a successful debut in January and is possibly the sport's highest-profile novice.

"The goal with Herschel's next fight is to put him in a little more competitive environment and let him test his skills," Coker said of Walker's bout.

Carson, 40, is 4-1 in pro bouts. In June, the Costa Mesa, Calif., resident was knocked out in the first round by Lorenz Larkin at a MEZ Sports-promoted event in Los Angeles.

Carson accrued his career victories between 1999 and 2001, but said a back injury kept him out of the cage for the next 10 years.

Carson said he previously trained with former UFC champion Chuck Liddell for eight years and recently joined UFC middleweight Mark Munoz's Reign Training Center in Lake Forest, Calif.

"It's a big honor to fight [Walker]," Carson said. "I'm a fan but I also believe he's beatable and it's a good matchup for me."

Walker, also a 1992 U.S. Olympic bobsled team member, earned a third-round stoppage from punches against Greg Nagy at Strikeforce "Miami" in January in Sunrise, Fla.

The 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, who turns 49 in March, has trained regularly at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif., since October 2009.

"I want to show that my experience level has increased a good deal," Walker said via text. "I've become a much better MMA fighter. Last time, I was very green. This time, I'm going to be more skilled and have a lot more to display in the Strikeforce cage."

Walker weighed in at 214.25 pounds for his debut. Carson, who's also fought at light heavyweight, said he believed he was contracted to come in no higher than 220 pounds against Walker.