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The Perspective of Bobby Lashley

Bobby Lashley is a hard guy to figure out. Ever since his exit from the WWE and subsequent foray into the world of mixed martial arts, Lashley has jumped back and forth from MMA to wrestling. I’m going to try and get my head wrapped around it in a convenient timeline:

January 2008: Announces he will leave the WWE, and will make the jump to MMA.

December 2008: Makes MMA debut, fights exclusively in MMA until March.

April 19, 2009: Signs with TNA Wrestling.

December 11, 2010: Signs with Strikeforce.

January 30, 2010: Defeats Wes Sims in Strikeforce debut.

February 10, 2010: Profile removed from TNA site. Leaves the promotion to focus on fighting.

Bobby’s Strikeforce debut was supposed to be against upcoming star Shane Del Rosario, but the fight was either scrapped or a rumor. Then Yohan Banks was scheduled to be the first victim, but the Florida Athletic Commission scrapped that. Next up, it was Jimmy Ambriz being talked about, but that was also shot down. Finally Wes Sims came in and served his purposed: To be demolished.

Now, at 5-0 it would be good time to put Lashley against a guy like Del Rosario or even a fighter like Brett Rogers. A true test of his skills, right? According to Lashley himself: Not at all.

On a recent episode of Inside MMA, a poll was created by MMAJunkie to gauge the fan’s interest on who should Lashley fight next. Here was his response when Rogers won the poll:

“I don’t understand this,” Lashley said. “Brett Rogers isn’t the champ. You’ve got Fedor [Emelianenko] who is considered the best pound-for-pound fighter and you’ve got [Alistair] Overeem who’s the champ. If they want me to go up to that level let’s go all the way up to that level and fight the champ.”

“I want Overeem,” Lashley said. “Either let me fight the way I want to build up – get a few fights under my belt, work my way up – or let me fight the champ. If it’s fighting the champ, I’ll fight the champ.”

This response needs translation. Translation: “Give me more cans to fight, or put me against Fedor or Overeem.”

Now, I’m sure that a fight against an experienced fighter is something that Lashley is hopefully considering in the near future, but to go from fighting the Bob Sapp’s and the Wes Sims’ of MMA to a fight with Fedor or Overeem? Lashley is saying that he has no interest in fights against guys like Rogers, Andrei Arlovski, Del Rosario, and Antonio Silva. So those fighters who have to pick up two or more victories to be even be considered for a title shot aren’t worthy of facing Lashley, but a guy like Tank Abbott or Jimmy Abriz is.

We all know what the likely outcome of Lashley facing either Fedor or Overeem would probably be, but if Lashley loses, it’s not that big of a deal. Strikeforce can play it off as Lashley not being ready, and that some day he could be at their level. If he loses to a guy like Rogers, and then loses again, it’ll be hard to build Lashley as a top contender and a guy who people would buy tickets to see.

Lashley has beaten most of his opponents with ease (with the exception of Jason Guida) and at 5-0, it’s time to at least take a small step up in competition. It doesn’t have to be Lesnar-sized steps, but still it would be good if he wants to be taken seriously as a fighter.

So, how about this for an opponent: Tim Sylvia. A well known name, downside of his career, and is enough of a challenge so if Lashley wins, he can get some credibility. It’s not a big step, but possibly a step in the right direction.

  • Kuch says:

    I watched him on Inside MMA and I got the feeling he was frustrated that folks keep saying he needs to fight tougher competition and that if he’s going to abandon his plan to slowly build himself up and get experience, then he might as well fight the champ. I don’t think he was totally serious, I think it was frustration about people not allowing him to get the experience he wants.

  • mcvojp01 says:

    The thing is he wants experience but he demolishes the competition! Oh except Jason guida who is fucking terrible but took him the distance lol i mean go figure he wants fedor but not brett rogers what is that all about??? Honestly i cannot wait until someone beats this pussys ass bad i hope it looks like the lesnar mir rematch! I hate Lashley and his arrogance i mean the guy is tailor made to be the best killer on the planet look at him he is more imposing than lesnar is but he wants to ease in like he is getting some pussy??? WTF Lesnar did not take baby steps he has confidence and it shows. Not a fan of lesnars mouth but i am a fan of the UFC heavyweight champion no matter who it is. Fighters fight not pussy foot around, I bet any top ten fighter even top 20 would have demolished Guida in the first round maybe Lashley is right and he needs experience because he is a big bitch in my book but thats only my opinion and everyone is allowed to have one!

  • jj says:

    Looking at a guy like Lashley it’s easy to be excited about what he might bring to a fight because of his physique. I’ve got to say that even though I’m a Strikeforce fan, I’m unhappy with both the quality level of opponents Lashley has faced and his performances against that level of competition.

    Lashley needs to commit to at least a year of serious MMA training at a top level gym before he’s going to be close to the top of the heap, even in Strikeforce.

    I had to cringe in Lashley’s post fight interview after Wes Sims when Quadros asked the typical softball question “Are you happy with that win?” Now the answer Quadros was looking for was obviously a big resounding ‘NO–I need do to alot more work!’, but to my total suprise Lashley was pleased with it. Some people are happy with garbage wins I guess.

    A no name guy in the UFC would be expected to deliver alot more. Are our expectations of him really that high?

  • Hohlraum says:

    He should be fighting up and coming fighters. NOT old washed up tomato cans. He’s not going to get any respect unless there is a possibility of him losing to someone. Everyone loses. Even the best out there lose. Even Fedor lost (arguable, yes).

    Do not protect your fighters Strikeforce.

  • matt says:

    I think Bobby Lashely should go back to the wwf. Really what is this guy talking about. You dont go from fight cans to fighting the best. Lesnar had to fight some top heavyweight (Mir, Herring) before he got his title shot. Lashley has fought no one who had any chance of beating him. To me Lashley has no stand up game and probably no submission game. This guy needs to stop talking and fight whoever is put in front of him, hopefully Brett Rogers.

  • Vogairian says:

    I don’t see the problem. Everyone complained when Lesnar went from nobodys to a title fight. Lashley says he wants to keep working his way up and everyone jumps on him? Has Brett Rogers fallen so far in a loss to Fedor that the distance between him and a can is 0? I can think of a few fighters that are mid-tier guys that would be good fights for Lashley. Seems to me like he’s having to suffer from the same pro-wrestling stigma that Brock suffers from.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Lashly is going to be a big deal in mma for a while so people need to get used to it. He is a great talent, already trains with a top team in ATT, and has all the tools to go very far. People are going to find a reason to complain no matter what be being from the pro wrestling world just gives them more to complain about, and as for him going back to TNA it is a simple case of him making money to support his family, really just look up his schedual, the guy only wrestled 4 or 5 days a month, he still got plenty of training in and earned some money and people whine about him not being commited. Now that he has gone to training full time I am sure people will find something else to complain about.

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    I don’t see what the big fuss is to be honest. The real danger for him is to lose to one of these tomato cans as oppose to stiff competition. So if your argument is that he should fight tougher guys it really doesn’t matter because sooner or later he will have too. In the meantime one of these scrubs might pull the upset

  • ColinL says:

    I agree with Lethal in the context of Lashley as a career mma fighter. If you’re in this for the long haul, losing to a big name isn’t a problem. Look at Lesnar.

    Losing period is a problem for Lashley and Strikeforce in the short term, no doubt. They don’t have many names people recognize and Lashley is a big name. (Kinda.)

    In terms of overall development, 5-0 isn’t much at all for mma. Lesnar is an extreme exception. Most guys at 5-0 won’t be ready for any big show, period. But Lashley signed with Strikeforce rather than fighting in a smaller league and he has to face the music.

    Brett Rodgers certainly would be a huge favorite but if Lashley did win, he would legitimize himself. And if he didn’t, he would be signed to fight lower rung opponents for a while. You can’t do that forever though, so he’d have to show improvement in every fight or fade from the national scene.

  • egad81 says:

    The way I translate it is this….. Lashley is the #1 Prospect in Strikeforce

    A loss to Rogers or Del Rosario (or any can in the roster) would set him WAY BACK

    A loss to Fedor (un-crowned champ) or Overrated (aka current chump Overeem) Lashley still has prospect value.

    I see Lashley beating up a couple more C level fighters before getting a crack at one of the big names.

  • islandguy says:

    Ok he says he wants Fedor.. let’s do that. Why the hell not? Very promotable fight. If Dana White was running Strikeforce he’d make that fight. And the result can’t help but be good. Likely result is Lashly get shut up or if by some chance it goes the other way it’s the upset of the century. Either way it’s fun.

  • mu_shin says:

    I’ll line up with Island Guy. Nothing to lose for Strikeforce or Lashley to go in against Fedor. Lashley gets more experience, gains credibility by fighting the best, and builds his presence in the MMA world while he’s at it. Fighting the Wes Sims’ of the world has done nothing to improve Lashley’s perceived abilities for anyone who has seen him, if anything, he seems to be falling in fan’s appraisal.

    I do think Brett Rogers is a legitimate threat, after the way he handled himself in the Emelianenko fight. Yes, he lost, but he lost to the best heavyweight on the planet, perhaps in the history of the sport. In any kind of resonable climb up the ranks of fighters, Brett Rogers makes sense in Lashley’s career progression, but I can see Bobby’s point in business terms. He would make a better buck fighting Fedor or Overeem (like Overeem is even in the equation) and again, a loss to the actual champ or the chump who holds the belt does not derail Lashley’s marketability.

    At present, I think Lashley would have about as much chance against Fedor as I have of winning the Powerball this week, but hey, even a ten million to one scenario comes up once in ten million…

  • dpk says:

    If Lashley is going to get paid the kind of money he is, then he isn’t going to be able to take his sweet time to build himself up. Del Rosario is the perfect fight, or else maybe SF could bring in a guy like Daniel Puder, which has its own interesting story line. Either way, Lashley isn’t going to be able to hang out and pound on cans while he makes the money he is making. I also don’t see the point in him stepping all the way up in competition. Fedor and Overeem don’t end well for him.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    Vogairian: I don’t see the problem. Everyone complained when Lesnar went from nobodys to a title fight. Lashley says he wants to keep working his way up and everyone jumps on him? Has Brett Rogers fallen so far in a loss to Fedor that the distance between him and a can is 0? I can think of a few fighters that are mid-tier guys that would be good fights for Lashley. Seems to me like he’s having to suffer from the same pro-wrestling stigma that Brock suffers from.  (Quote)

    there is a diffrence between working your way up and padding your stats.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I agree with Kuch’s first comment…

    My take is that the guy is obviously an athlete and he obviosly has some notable skills… He has path for his career and I can’t blame him… He isn’t a fresh face looking to make a splash- He’s a well known figure from other ventures in his career/ life… the man can draw a crowd and has a dollar value over his head before ever accomplishing anything significant in the sport of MMA. With that said why wouldn’t he build up his record and gain as much experiance from fighting lower tier fighters and working his way up?

    Believe me this totally frustrates me aswell and I wish I could see him fight top tier competition but is it really going to benefit him or the promotion except for that one fight because we already know with his present skill set he’s not beating a Fedor or an Overeem??

    I think the difference btn Lashely and Lesner is that Lesners ruthless aggression is what fueled him to take such large steps once entering MMA… Lesner just seems like he’s more of a competitor than Lashley IMO.

  • islandguy says:

    Agree that Rogers would be a good opponent.. and probably the one that makes the most sense.

    That is exactly why Lashley is asking for Fedor.. he doesn’t want to step up yet. He knows that he would get a fight with Rogers.. he doesn’t think they’d give him Fedor… he want to keep beating up cans for the time being.

  • Vogairian says:

    there is a diffrence between working your way up and padding your stats.  

    I don’t see anywhere that he said “I want a can, so I can pad my stats.” He said he wants to work his way up, like I said, Is there no space between fighting one of the promotions top heavy-weights and fighting a can?


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