NFL stars Chris Johnson and Devon Hester are set to race a cheetah as part of a Nat Geo Wild Special on American cable television.

The Tennessee Titans running back and Denver Broncos returner have both signed-up to take part in the event, which will be filmed for the Big Cat Week kickoff special.

It’s a challenge Johnson is certainly looking forward to, with the fastest man in the National Football League set to take on one of the fastest animals on the planet.

He told "This is the most incredible challenge I've ever faced. I wanted to go up against the fastest in the world and test myself, and this was it!"

Johnson holds the NFL scouting combine record for the 40-yard dash at 4.24 seconds, and has previously predicted that he could beat Olympic champion and world 100m record-holder Usain Bolt.

Whilst Hester has never made such extravagant claims, he’s no slouch either, and can’t wait to go toe-to-toe with the animal.

"The whole idea of racing next to a cheetah for Nat Geo Wild was a very unusual proposition," he said, according to CBS Sports.

"But it was something I was ready to take on to see if I could get an edge on."

It might be wishful thinking from Hester, with cheetahs able to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in three seconds.

However, the programme is looking to find any possible weaknesses in the animal’s style of running, and how that compares with the human’s ability to adapt.

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