Bobby Lashley wants to follow in Brock Lesnar’s footsteps. Plain and simple. He wants to make the transition from the WWE to the UFC, and Dana White is not going to make it easy for him. Due to the fact that Lesnar was such a superior collegiate wrestler—holding a record of 106 win and 5 losses—and blessed with the size of the beast, it would be hard to bet against him in a fight.
Lashley definitely doesn’t have the wrestling pedigree that Brock has, but really who does? To his credit, Lashley was the Missouri Valley College Nation Champion from 1996 to 1998, the NAIA National Wrestling Champion in 1997 and 1998, a two-time Armed Forces Champion, and the CISM World Championship Silver Medalist in 2002.
He is currently training at American Top Team, and I think the fact that they let him train there must say something for his credibility. Also, he is not a small wrestler or WWE superstar; He is a bundle of energy, muscle, and—it looks like eventually—skill. He stands 6-foot-3 and weights in around 265 pounds. He seems to be pretty quick for his size. Maybe not be as quick as Lesnar, but then again, Lesnar seems to be a freak of nature.
Lashley had his first MMA fight on Dec. 13, 2008, and quickly beat his opponent into a doctor stoppage, 41 seconds into the fight. Does this mean White should be reconsidering his decision? No. Not at all, for that matter. But, if Lashley can keep this up, will UFC's top dog eventually have to? Yes.
I think if Lashley really wants to be in the UFC, he will be. I would go as far as to say that he will either by the end of 2009 or early 2010, depending on the number of fights he has under his belt by then.
I think if Lashley can run through a few more people, show some skills other than wrestling, maybe notch a nice KO or a few more first-round wins against credible opponents, and of course do this all in a timely fashion, then White will be forced to sign him.
Then, of course, it would be only a matter of time before we would get to see a Lashley vs. Lesnar fight, which would be one for the ages. Two massive, massive men, battling it out in the octagon.
I would like to point out that I am not a WWE fan, nor have I ever been, but the pure size of both Lesnar and Lashley does wonders for my imagination. Sure, Lesnar didn’t look great against Frank Mir at the end of their fight, and I don’t think he will beat Mir the second time around, but he is new to the sport and I think he has the will to win.
Moreover, I think Lashley has that same will to win. Most guys who have made their fair share of money in the WWE and then were denied into the UFC wouldn’t want to fight for small organizations, starting from the ground up. Lashley, however, does, which to me means that he wants to show the world he is not just a WWE superstar, but a force to be reckoned with.
I do understand what White is doing though; he wants credible fighters in the UFC. He is not going to open up the gate for anyone in the WWE to come to UFC just so he can generate money, and for this I applaud him. He wants the best fighters in the world, and I think with enough hard work, Lashley can work his way through the ranks and we will see him in the UFC.