Bobby Lashley appeared on Inside MMA on HDNet last week and spoke on a number of subjects with Ron Kruck.
Kruck started the interview mentioning that when he had spoken to Brock Lesnar, he said that one of the most difficult parts of transitioning into MMA was finding good training partners. Lashley agreed, nothing that “there aren’t too many athletic 250 pounders out there that can go out and fight that are in one location. They are out there, but not in one location. There are several great fighters who are 220 and 230 pounders who can run with the big dogs, but in one place, it’s hard.”
The discussion then turned to why Lashley left professional wrestling. Lashley seemed hesitant at first, noting that it was the million dollar question and that it might cost him a million to answer it.
“You can say I was dealing with stuff in the WWE,” Lashley said. “I had that desire to fight. I wrestled for eighteen years and accomplished a tremendous amount in amateur wrestling. There was a time in the WWE when I had an injury, I took some time off and I had some time to look back at my career and see what I wanted to do. You know, you only live once. I was once in a bank robbery and it was almost taken away from me, I almost got shot in the back of the head and I told myself at that time that I’m going to do what I wanna do when I wanna do it.”
When asked about pro wrestling outfit TNA, with whom he debuted several weeks ago, Lashley said “I took a lot of flack for making that one appearance. All they’re trying to do is give me an opportunity to make money while I’m still fighting and kinda put their brand behind me. We haven’t signed a deal yet because we want to see how it’s going to work with my schedule, if it’s going to take up too much time. Even though it’s only four days a month, it’s still travelling and being away from my training camp so we’re going to see how it works.”
When asked about criticism from MMA fans about Lashley doing both pro wrestling while competing in MMA, Lashley said that he doesn’t feel that it’s a conflict of interest.
“I personally wouldn’t have a wrestling match before a fight,” he stated. “I wouldn’t even do it a couple of weeks before a fight because there’s still a risk of injury.”
He did say that he enjoyed professional wrestling, saying “If I could go back, I would have done it over again . . . I still would have went back into wrestling. It’s probably the funnest thing you can do.”
Kruck then asked Lashley about how he was adjusting to the aspects of MMA other than wrestling, for which Lashley had a successful collegiate career.
“Wrestling is my background,” he noted. “You know they always say to go to your strengths, go to what you know. I can always take somebody down and work them on the ground – lay and pray as some of the hardcore MMA fans would say – but I’ve been working on my standup a lot and I enjoy my standup. I believe that’s where you really make your money. Everybody wants to come and see a good fight, and everybody wants to see that knockout.”
The interview ends with Kruck asking Lashley what his goals are for 2009.
“To continue to learn,” he said. “I would like to be able to win a match in every fashion and since I’ve already got the decision in there, which I wanted to be the last one, my next one is submission or KO. I want a TKO, I want a KO, I want a submission and a decision and I want to get a good six matches under my belt. So coming into 2010, I’d like to be 6-0.”
Inside MMA will air part two of Lashley’s interview this week. The show airs every Friday at 9:00 p.m.