Bobby Lashley Opens Up About UFC, Bellator Hopes, WWE and TNA, Dave Bautista and Saturday’s Big GWC Fight
By Joshua Molina
Former WWE pro wrestling superstar Bobby Lashley will return to the cage this Saturday night, just three weeks after a quick submission victory over Kevin Asplund.
Lashley, 8-2, will fight Matthew Larson, 2-2, at the inaugural Global Warrior Challenge event, “The British Invasion: U.S. vs. U.K.”
Lashley, who has fought for eight different MMA promotions since debuting in 2008, is looking to make short work of Larson then jump the hump and take his fight game to the elite level.
“You only live once I am trying to do everything I can to get where I want to be,” Lashley told fcfighter.com. “I would like toward the end of my career to get there, whether it’s Bellator or it could be the UFC. I would like to end my career with them and lock it in.”
Lashley said he has been in talks with Bellator in the past.
The 36-year-old debuted to wide fanfare in 2008 after attaining mass popularity with WWE. He wrestled in the main event of the company’s highest-grossing pay-per-view event ever in 2007. The WrestleMania pay-per-view event received 1.2 million buys.
The national college wrestling champion and U.S. Army veteran, however, is still pushing for the same mainstream success in mixed martial arts. He bounced around in several promotions. He fought twice for Strikeforce, at the time the second-largest MMA company in the world, but was stopped by part-time firefighter Chad Griggs, in a major upset that derailed Lashley’s career momentum.
Lashley said he is learning to overcome some of the barriers that have prevented him from reaching his MMA goals in the past.
“I came in with a little more pressure than the Average Joe guy,” Lashley said. “I didn’t have a lot of amateur fights. I need to be able to stay focused and not tire myself out. I need to get in there and stay comfortable and do what I do and just staying calm with fights.”
Right now, he’s focused on winning Saturday night. He said he took the fight because the promotion called him. He also wants to stay busy. He had little trouble three weeks ago against Asplund, fighting for Titan Fighting Championships.
“We came in with a good game plan,” Lashley said. “The whole plan was take the least amount of damage possible.”
Even though he knows little about his just-named opponent Larson, Lashley said it doesn’t matter. He plans to go on there and do what he does best — wrestle him down and look for the submission victory.
“Regardless of the person is I am going to have basically the same game plan,” Lashley said.
At 243 pounds, Lashley is a huge, hulking fighter by MMA standards. Opponents have only been successful with him when they have been able to push the fight into the later rounds.
Lashley also opened up about another pro wrestler-turned-MMA-fighter, Dave Bautista. Despite rumors, he said he doesn’t have any interest in fighting Bautista, 1-0, in a gimmick fight.
“Dave is a friend of mine,” Lashley said. “He’s a good dude. He’s doing movies.”
Lashley said he’s not sure a fight against Bautista is the right move.
“After this weekend I would be 10-2 and he’s 1-0,” Lashley said. “That fight wouldn’t make a lot of sense, but there’s no bad feelings toward him.”
One day, Lashley said he could see himself returning to the WWE or TNA.
“Pro wrestling is always going to be something for me,” Lashley said. “I love it. That is my passion.”
Lashley also said that he’s thrilled by the increasing number of MMA fighters who are becoming pro wrestlers, such as “King Mo” Lawal and “Rampage” Jackson. It brings a bit more credibility and respect to the pro wrestling world, he said.
“I think it is good because it helps the public to really realize what is going on,” Lashley said. “A lot of people have questions or are critics or wrestling. But when you see these fighters who would love the opportunity to go into wrestling it is something a lot more people will get into.”
Lashley hasn’t given up his big dreams of being a champion MMA superstar. And his battle continues Saturday night.
“I want to stay active,” Lashley said, “and hopefully I will do some great things and make everyone proud.”