Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker spoke with MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani post-Strikeforce: Houston last night; during their conversation, Coker spoke about former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley’s upset loss to Chad Griggs and said that Lashley will need to seriously evaluate his career as an MMA fighter.
“Bobby Lashley, I think he’s some soul searching to do and when we talk to him next week or tomorrow or Monday we’re gonna have that conversation and it’s gonna be interesting,” said Coker. “We’ll support him in whatever he wants to do.”
Coker told Helwani that he believes Lashley experienced true adversity for the first time as a fighter against Griggs and that the true testament of Lashley’s staying power in the sport will be how he bounces back from the loss.
“I think that with Lashley the true test happened tonight,” said Coker. “It’s sometimes good for a fighter to go out there, test himself and maybe it doesn’t work out. Then what’s he gonna come back with? How’s he gonna come back? And that’s gonna be the key to see if he really wants to be an MMA fighter is how he’s gonna come back and that’s gonna be up to him. We facilitate these fights but he’s gonna have to have the desire to do that and I hope he does because he’s got physical talent he just has to put it all together.”
Lashley, who was 5-0 heading into the bout with Griggs, has only been fighting professionally since 2008 and Coker believes that staying mindful of Lashley’s inexperience is important.
“He’s got a ways to go obviously. Let’s be honest,” Coker said of Lashley’s status as a fighter. “Where he’s at in his path as a mixed martial arts fighter I think is in the beginning stages. Does that mean he should stop? He just has a lot of focus on him because of his WWE background and his collegiate wrestling background, but mostly the WWE so people have all these high expectations but to me, I’ve always banished those expectations in my mind because he only has a hand full of fights. To me the true test of a martial arts fighter is their character and how he comes back and that’s gonna be up to him.”