Pierre Walters was a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs and is currently a Total Fight Challenge light heavyweight champion in Chicago, IL. Walters shared his journey from the NFL to MMA and why he wanted to represent Chicago in his work.
“Chicago is known as a blue-collar city and that’s the type of fabric I’m cut from. So in all of my fights, you will see a manifestation of that.” Walters said. “I go forward, never stop working, I apply pressure and I don’t run from a fight.”
This explains why his nickname is “Workhorse” when he’s training and in the cage with his opponent.
“I was thinking about my journey and what I’ve done and had to do in this life. In the NFL you have teams, brand names, and symbols. In fighting (MMA), you are the brand. A lot of fighters don’t understand that,” Walters said.
Walters shared how Chicago is artistic, “culture-rich” and plays a factor in his successful career.
“Chicago needs a distraction…there’s so much darkness that follows our city and that’s highlighted out in the world about our city. It needs a hero if you will from the politics and the crime; having a fighter, and not just any fighter but a heavyweight fighter, especially in this time, is needed,” Walters said. With Chicago going through gentrification, Walters has seen the changes the city has been bombarded with and wants to be a symbol of hope.
His belief shed light on why he merged into MMA.
“MMA is the most pure form of competition; it’s human vs. human. It’s diverse and definitely gaining popularity. I like a challenge and to test myself,” he said going on to talk about how he considerers MMA an art.
“It’s comprised of many arts, like Jiu Jitsu and boxing, you can use any art that is ingrained in you…I feel like RU’s diversity and ‘fight’ for justice embody that as well.”
Considering Walters journey from NFL to MMA, the process is abstract within itself. He referred the whole process of turning into a “weapon” as mentally and physically demanding.
During this process, Walters is giving back to his community. He mentored kids and teaches various forms of martial arts. Walters helped troubled youth by teaching social etiquette and the importance of education. He would spend personal time with families and is devoted to the advocacy of Chicago youth.
“Using your platform gives you the key to the city and gives you access to resources that you can pass to your community,” Walters said.
He gave advice about how to be successful in any situation in life that he uses himself. “Figure out what you want to do because everyone has a niche in life…plan and study that plan and attack it relentlessly,” Walters said.
He ended the interview with some advice for RU students, saying, “don’t stop working and never take adversity personal.”
Walters is ranked second out of eight active Illinois Pro Light Heavyweights, living up to his nickname and leaving stepping stones of revelation for others through his endowments today and endlessly.