Former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar and current Strikeforce heavyweight fighter Bobby Lashley is currently undefeated in five professional mixed martial arts fights and the Kansas native is looking to improve his record to 6-0 when he takes on Chad Griggs this August 21st at Strikeforce: Houston, his second appearance in the Strikeforce promotion. Depending on how that fight goes, Lashley indicated to MMAJunkie.com recently that he would be interested in hunting for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Title.
“I’m staying ready,” Lashley said. “I’ve been training really hard, and I’m going to continue to train after this fight.”
Lashley holds notable wins over Bob Sapp, Jason Guida (brother to UFC lightweight Clay Guida) and Wes Sims (his first Strikeforce appearance). Based on his crossover appeal alone Lashley could see himself propelled through the heavyweight ranks at a quicker pace than most fighters of his experience level and he told MMAJunkie that he is fine with that; he is only looking to climb the heavyweight ladder from here on out.
“I’m really confident where my level is,” he said. “After this fight, if this fight goes the way I hope it goes, I’m going straight to the top. I know where my abilities are.”
Not keeping with his upwardly-aimed goals, Lashley says, is a bout with possible Strikeforce employee and fellow former pro-wrestler Dave Batista. Batista has flirted with signing with the fight promotion for some time now and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has previously mentioned that, while a deal with Batista has yet to be reached, he would be open to promoting a Lashley-Batista heavyweight tilt. Though he is not excited at the prospect of facing Batista, who would enter MMA with no amateur wrestling background to speak of, the former Missouri Valley College wrestler told Sherdog.com recently that he would be open to facing Batista if the call for the bout were loud enough.
“It’s not really the direction I want to move (in), but if it’s worth it and they really think he’s ready and Strikeforce wants me to fight him, I’ll take the fight,” Lashley said.
Lashley maintains that he means no disrespect to Batista, only that he is interested in furthering his own career and that he views a fight against the completely untested Batista as a step backward.
“I’ve had a good game plan up to this point and I really want to move in the right direction,” said Lashley. “Dave’s just starting out. I’m looking to better myself and get better opponents each time. Griggs is 8-1 and there’s a lot of top heavyweight guys out there right now, so I really have my eyes set on a handful of those guys. I’m not disrespecting Dave at all, but he’s new to the game. That’s definitely a fight for the fans, but not so much for my career. I’d do it and keep moving forward.”
Before he can move toward the title or think about taking on Batista, Lashley has to get past 8-1 Chad Griggs this August 21st at Strikeforce: Houston. The bout will be held at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas and will be headlined by Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal defending his belt against Black House-trained fighter Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante.