Bobby Lashley: Put The Brakes on The Hype Train * (UPDATE Lashley vs Rogers?)

Greg ParfittCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2010

It's time for the Bobby Lashley hype to slow down.

This guy is not and never will be the next Brock Lesnar no matter how much Strikeforce want him to be. This is not a knee jerk reaction to last nights poor showing, although it has gone a long way in cementing my opinion. 

Ever since Lashley announced his intention to forge a career in MMA the comparisons with the current UFC heavyweight champion were inevitable. However these comparisons were doing a disservice to both Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley. 

Lesnar was a NCAA Div1 Champion and a Big Ten Champion, simply put he was a far superior amateur wrestler then Lashley ever was. In the fake world of professional wrestling Lesnar was also a far superior, athlete and star for the WWE. Lesnar was trusted as the youngest ever Champion for the company and was clearly driven to succeed in the world of sports entertainment. It took Lashley a lot longer to reach the success of Lesnar in that business, that makes me wonder why?

Whether you think that is relevant or not I think it shows that the two often compared stars are from a different breed. Lesnar has a drive to compete and left a very comfortable pay-check in the WWE to first try his hand at Pro-football, getting very close to earning a slot with the Minnesota Vikings and eventually finding his home in MMA.

In his first three fights in the UFC Lesnar would fight a former UFC Champion in his debut, a respected mid-level fighter in the heavyweight division and then another former champion and UFC legend. Lesnar wanted and was given tough competition in the UFC and has shown rapid improvement technically and a natural ability for the sport ever since.

I mention this because I question Lashley's drive to compete and also whether he has the actual ability to transfer to MMA. Lashley has amassed a 5-0 career so far in MMA but has worryingly shown me very little in terms of improvement in these fights against weak competition. 

Last nights ridiculous spectacle at Strikeforce: Miami has only furthered my opinion that Lashley's hype needs to slow down dramatically. At present he nothing more then a part time MMA fighter who has a great physique, a good wrestling base, but huge holes in his game. Any talk of Lashley fighting for the title is laughable at the moment.

As a member of American Top Team, he is at a great camp to improve his skills. The question for me is how long before he has to take MMA as his full-time occupation or does he even want to when he knows he can make a comfortable paycheck from TNA?

An already rumored fight with Del Rosario might require him to focus his efforts more on MMA. If Lashley is really serious about a career in MMA then this is required because as I have already said he has not shown any great improvements so far. Whilst Lesnar has shown steady improvements in striking and an apparent natural ability to understand jui-jitsu, I don't see these things with Lashley.

Don't get me wrong the guy has potential, but will he ever have the success that Lesnar has enjoyed already, I don't think so. Bobby Lashley needs to decide upon the reasons he is training and competing in MMA. Is it for money and fame? Or does he really have that killer instinct and desire to test himself?

If he does then he should no longer except the offer of weak fights from Strikeforce. He should demand a step up in competition and really test his abilities. A driven Lashley should not allow Strikeforces desire to protect his undefeated record get in the way of his improvement. 

I'll leave you with a final thought. Brock Lesnar was respected more after losing to Frank Mir then after beating Min-Soo Kim. So would Lashley carry more credibility as an MMA fighter if he fought tougher competition and lost then if he kept fighting cans?

Bottom line, Bobby Lashley has potential, but is undeserving of his hype and has a long and painful way to go before he is deserving of it!


So having stated my case for the Bobby Lashley hype to be slowed down it looks like we will see it start all over again as Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has mentioned the prospect of Bobby Lashley and Brett Rogers squaring off. From; 

"Also on the card, heavyweight Bobby Lashley, a hyped fighter who many want to compare to Brock Lesnar because of his dominating physical appearance and professional wrestling ties, dominated an overmatched, under trained Wes Sims to earn a stoppage. The performance did nothing to advance Lashley's career. That may come next" said Coker, who would like to see a bout between Lashley, now 5-0, and Brett Rogers.

This is certainly the step up on competition that many people have been pushing for, including myself, but is it too much too soon for Lashey? Personally I would immediately see Rogers striking and power being a big issue and if Fedor had trouble keeping him down, then I don't hold much hope for Lashley. I guess people will start stoking the fires of the Hype Train again, all aboard!!!