FightLine.com Exclusive Interview With Bobby Lashley
By Raj Giri | March 17, 2010
You recently said you'd like to slowly climb the ladder in MMA, then said that you'd be open to fighting Fedor Emelianenko or Alistair Overeem. Ideally what kind of opponent would you like to face next?
I think I would like to fight someone that's dangerous from the ground simply because I'm really confident on the ground as far as my wrestling ability. So I would like to be able to get on the ground with someone that has a little more of a ground game so I can't just rely on it. Or maybe even someone that I can just stand up with.
When you fight, some people just like to take any opponent at any time, and that's good and everything, but I think I want someone that's going to challenge me at different aspects of the game. For example, a person like Bob Sapp. Is he the greatest fighter? No. But he does pose a threat because he's a really big guy and he hits hard. When I first started fighting, one of the things that people said was, "Bobby's a lot bigger than all the guys that he's fighting so that's why he's beaten everyone." It's an absurd comment, but that's why I wanted someone like Bob Sapp in there, because I'm not bigger than him, so now you can't say that.
What areas of your game are you looking to improve the most?
Just to let it loose a little bit more is the most important thing for me right now. I feel confident - really confident - in the training room and working with my stand up guys, whether it's my muay-thai instructor or my boxing coach. But when I go out and fight, there's a lot of pressure on me because there's a lot of eyes on me because of the wrestling aspect so I tend to hold back a little bit more. I just want to be able to let loose and feel a little bit more comfortable out there so I can swing my hands and show people what I can do with my stand up. I think that my stand up is a very solid part of my game and no one's even seen it yet.
Alistair Overeem hasn't defended the Strikeforce heavyweight title since he won it in November of 2007. What are your thoughts on Overeem?
Well he's the champ, so I really can't say anything negative about him. He's actually coming here to defend his title [rumored to be against Brett Rogers on May 15th] so I can't say anything about that either. I think he's a good guy, he's a good champion. He's a big guy (laughs), he's very talented. He's fought a lot of people so I think he's going to be dangerous to anyone in the division. But the heavyweight division is wide open so I think it's going to be very exciting to see all these heavyweights mix it up a little bit. I think in Strikeforce right now there are four or five people right now that can be the champion, so I think it's going to be really exciting for the fans.
Where do you see yourself in the heavyweight division?
I think I'm six months to a year out of being in a top spot.
So do you feel like you're a year away from facing someone like a Brett Rogers or another ranked heavyweight like that?
Not so much Brett Rogers, I was thinking more like the Overeems', the Fedors', the Arlovskis'. I think in six months to a year I'd like to face those guys, the top ones.
Many people feel that Fedor is the uncrowned kingpin of the Strikeforce heavyweight division. Have you been following him for awhile?
I think he's a really dangerous fighter. There's not too many people that can really make you pay for any mistake that you make. And that's what Fedor does, you can't make any mistakes with him. If you fight Fedor, whether it's a three-rounder or a five-rounder, you have to be solid every round. You can't make mistakes. You can't get a little overzealous and jump into something because you think you can end the fight at any point in time. I think, like you said, he's the uncrowned champion so I think he's the person to beat in that weight class.
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