The former Walker, Texas Ranger star and karate champion was back in his birth state of Oklahoma. Now the 67-year-old Norris is the founder and owner of the mixed martial arts World Combat League. The WCL had a bout at the Expo Center in Tulsa on February 23rd. NewsOn6.com Videojournalist Kyle Dierking caught up with the toughest guy on the planet before the festivities.
Kyle Dierking: You're known as one of the toughest guys around. So did you want to create a league for some of the other tough guys?
Chuck Norris: The thing is my World Combat League fighters are a lot tougher. They're well conditioned young athletes and they get into the ring and put 10 rounds into three minutes and it's an incredibly exciting sport. I started this 32 years ago and I had to stop it because of my film career. Now we're into our second year here and things are going incredibly well. The people that watch it on Versus feel it's an incredible sport.
KD: Being a world-renowned fighter, what makes this league different from some of the other mixed martial arts leagues?
CN: It's stand-up fighting and you have to put 10 rounds into three minutes. It's non-stop action with these fighters and so there's not a boring moment in there. In other fights you doing three and five minute rounds There's a lot of pausing that slows the pace down where here it's full-throttle action and really exciting.
KD: When you see these guys out here does it make you miss it at all?
CN: (laughs) I've been there and done that and I had my day. It's their day now.
KD: We've seen you out on the campaign trail a lot lately. And you were in probably one of the more humorous campaign commercials out there. Talk about campaigning for Mike Huckabee.
CN: I was watching the debates and I was really undecided on who I wanted to back. Then I started getting a lot of e-mails from young people throughout the country saying ‘we're backing Mike Huckabee and would you check him out.' I thought if all these young people were so passionate about this man that I have to check out who he is. I went on his website and started researching him. The more I researched the more I was impressed by him. Now I'm campaigning with him and the more I'm around this man the more impressed I am. He would make a great President for us. Unfortunately I don't think it's going to happen. He lost in Oklahoma which is my home state and I'm really disappointed about that. But I'm hoping he can pull out Texas and Ohio then he'll still be in the game. If he can't then we'll have to wait for four years.
KD: How fun was it doing that commercial?
CN: What you don't see is we did the commercial at my ranch. He's only 52 years old and I wondered how moxie he is. I said, "Mike I'm getting ready to work out would you like to come and work out with me?" We got up there and put the gloves on and I started sparring with him and kicking him to see if he'd flinch. I have to say he's a stand up guy. He got in there and mixed it up with me and that was pretty impressive. His message is there and I'm just disappointed that people in America realize they're going to lose with him not being President.
KD: Now we've all heard the tag lines like, "Chuck Norris's tears could cure cancer but he's never cried." What's your favorite one?
CN: They wanted to put Chuck Norris on Mt. Rushmore but of course I don't have my beard now because I'm getting ready to go on vacation. Because when we go on vacation my kids say "Dad you have to shave your beard so not so many people will recognize you. That's why my beard's gone. Anyway they wanted to put Chuck Norris on Mt. Rushmore but the granite wasn't tough enough for his beard. That was my favorite one.
KD: I thought it was usually the reverse when vacationing - you let your facial hair grow out.
CN: When I have the beard on I have people behind me in traffic honking their horn. I'm thinking "how in the world?" But it's the beard - it's kind of the stand out thing.
By Kyle Dierking, NewsOn6.com Video Journalist