Exclusive interview with Bobby Lashley

The last time we saw Bobby Lashley, he was being stood up from a full mount in Houston, Texas. After being delivered his first career loss a few minutes later via Chadd Griggs’ powerful sideburns, Lashley took a tactical retreat to Kansas City and ended up at Titan Fighting Championships. So read on wayward sons. There’ll be peace when you are done. Lay your weary head to rest, don’t you cry no more.


Coming from someone who still is active and wrestles in Japan, why is MMA dying over there? Oh man, I don’t know as far as MMA. I don’t know whats going on. I think they put a lot into a few names but with all these other organizations people started disappearing on them. When I go down there to wrestle every few months it’s great, they always sell out.


Why do you think that is? Why has pro wrestling been able to sustain while MMA has not? Pro wrestling is never gonna die, part of the reason is with wrestling, you know you’re going to be entertained for as long as the show goes. 2 hour show, 2 hours of entertainment. In MMA it’s so unpredictable no one ever knows what’s going to happen. So it’s a toss up with what they are trying to do. Do you have good match ups or do you highlight your stars and keep the entertainment aspect of it. I think some promotions don’t know which way to go and it’s confusing to the crowd.


Will you ever wrestle in a North American promotion again? Yeah I probably will, I love pro wrestling, right now all of my heart and dedication is to fighting, so I wouldn’t say right now, it’s always a great time but right now I’m dedicated to fighting. It’s fun putting on great shows in front of large crowds, i will never say I would never go back to pro wrestling.


What do you think about the reports of Vince Mcmahon trying to block MMA in Connecticut. Wow, I did not know that. Well, I don’t know how much power he has to do that, or it may not be totally him. A lot of the time the blame is pointed towards Vince when he has a whole staff of people working for him. He gets a lot of heat for thing he may not really be involved with. I haven’t heard anything about this, I remember one time when I was wrestling I brought up MMA and he was all for it, so I don’t think Vince is against MMA at all.


So when you had that conversation with Vince McMahon about MMA, was it to wrestle and fight? No, I think it was just MMA. I think he was trying to tell me to hold off so it could be under this banner. A different promotion.


Can you talk about the bank robbery that happened around you a few years back? Oh yeah, it was pretty crazy. I was getting ready for the Olympic trials in 2003. I was preparing for team trials, I was ready to move forward and wrestle. So I was heading to the bank and I got in the back of the line and I was getting ready to make a deposit into my account and right after I walked in it was BOOM. The first bang noise was the guy kicking in the door and the second bang was him firing. I was not more than 10 ft in front of the guy, he had his arm extended out and he was firing and when he was firing I saw out of my peripheral that everyone was diving so I took a dive also. When I was down there I remember praying like ‘this cannot be it, this isn’t it, no way no way’ At that point I stayed down, I heard more gunshots, they were firing more, no one got shot but they ended up escaping. The reason I know so much as far as what went on, and how close they were is that I got to see the surveillance camera after, when I saw that I couldn’t believe how close the guy was to me and that he missed me. When I got up, my knee was just completely destroyed. It ws the industrial carpet with concrete underneath it. My knee was just destroyed, I had to have surgery, it ended my amateur wrestling career, it was a mess. The one thing I could say I learned from that is life is short. Go out and do what you want. When I first started MMA there were a bunch of critics saying ‘this guy this guy’ if you have an opportunity to do something you have to go do it.


How did you get hooked up with Titan FC. A buddy of mine owns an MMA clothing store in Kansas City and he had done some work with them, so on Facebook I mentioned something about getting a hold of them for me because I hadn’t fought in a while and I don’t have management. I got burned a few times before with managers so I do it all my own. So I saw him and he gave em a call and Joe Kelley (CEO) called me and seemed like a real cool guy and he told me they had a bunch of fights lined up for this year and he would love to have me on the card. So, at that point I was like sign me up.


So would you say you are going to take on Abe Wagner or Tim Sylvia in the near future? I don’t know the details about my future just yet, but I know I’m still under contract with Strikeforce. I found out through Coker and those guys, I’m still under contract with Strikeforce til late April I guess, after that I can renegotiate or look for other fights.


So the Strikeforce door is still open then? Yeah


You talk about building yourself up, do you think you’ve built yourself up enough? Is it time? After 6 fights? You could say that, lets go by some of the top guys in Strikeforce, how many fights does Bigfoot have? Fedor? 30? Overeem is at 40 something. You cant replicate that experience in the ring or cage. At 6 fights I’m here right now and the more fights you have the more comfortable you’re going to be in the ring and the more ring generalship your going to have and you will be comfortable in there. At 6 fights I think I’m still in the infancy of my career and I would like it to be where I have 10 15 20 fights. So yeah I want to get a handful of fights before I go back out there and try to get the big fights. I know what I am capable of doing and my coaches know what I am capable of. But the thing is the experience, you cant match that with anything else, you can practice year after year but in the cage, in that cage it’s different. You need to get experience that way and get more comfortable.


That’s interesting, you have critics out there that thik you should just jump right in and you’ve been ready. To that you said I want to fight lower level guys, cans maybe? Or fight for the belt. I never said I want to fight “cans”. I think that’s a problem I have with critics, you get in a ring with a can you’ll know that’s ignorant. I have respect for every guy who steps in there. I don’t think there is anyone out there to be considered a can. I think one person on paper might be better than another or on a different level, but you put 4oz glove so on anyone I don’t care if you’re 145 pounds you can get hit and dropped, really. so i don’t look at cans but there are different levels. you got the JDS, Cain, Overeem. Those guys are the top higher level, and before I get to that level I want to fight maybe you can call them mid card guys but I think with the opportunity to get several fights this year I can grow. In stead of being stuck in a contract where people aren’t allowing me to fight I can get some fights in this year. If I can fight every couple months, I’m gonna fight every couple months. I said this before, but because of contracts and other things I was in I couldn’t dictate when I could fight or what I wanted to do. I will not put myself if that situation again. Now I’m in a situation where I can stay active, I need to go out there and get several fights this year.


Would you say a lot of the fighters aren’t getting enough fights in Strikeforce? It just depends on who you are. some people have in their contract that they can fight in Strikeforce or other places on their off time. Cormier was fighting a fight every month, some people get the opportunity’s to take the fights like that some don’t.


Who has the better UFC division right now UFC or Strikeforce. Man…I cant even answer that. I think Brock is tough, Cain is tough, Fedor’s tough. Overeem is tough, Josh Barnett is extremely tough. I think Kharitnov, Cormier. I could list a ton of good looking guys, Shane Del Rosario. I mean there are a lot of guys on that list and then you go to UFC, JDS, Shane Carwin all of these guys haven’t fought each other and until they do we will never know.


Everybody loses in MMA, from the outside it looks like you’re taking the loss to Chad Griggs kind of tough. What if it wasn’t a flaw in your game and it turns out Chad Griggs is the greatest of all time, would that help put your sole loss in perspective? No. Not at all, because I didn’t look at that loss as him beating me, there were a lot of things that were going on that I was dealing with at the time. My performance suffered, but there was no point where I feel he took over. I mean I wish the best for him and I hope he does do something great but I don’t see him beating the upper echelon of that weight division at all.


That whole card was crazy with the athletic commission… (interjects) the standup from full mount position, allowing the strikes to the back to the head, yeah a lot of stuff completely off the wall.


Did you know Chadd Griggs called you a sore loser I could care less about what he has to say.


Would you say you’re going to stay away from Texas for awhile? I wouldn’t say I’m going to stay away from it but if I have an opportunity elsewhere and an opportunity in Texas I will probably go somewhere else than back to Texas.


Do you think you are represented well in EA MMA? I don’t know, I haven’t really seen my character.


You shoot a lot. Yeah see I’m trying to fix that a bit, in my time off I’ve been working with my hands so hopefully I can show the fans and the MMA world something different.


When you first hit the MMA scene you were given the nickname ‘The Galaxy Collector’ any chance you will ditch ‘Dominator’ and go back to that? Galaxy collector? I don’t know about that. I’ve never heard that.


You said you wanted to train with Josh Barnett, did anything come of that? Ahh, Josh has extended his hand out and said he wanted to work together. We worked out a little in Japan and ever since then, I live in Denver and I have kids so I cant just pick up and leave anytime, this fight came up quick so I keep my training here in Denver. But when this fight is over I’m gonna try to get a fight really soon after so I can go out there and train with them. I’m gonna see if I can help train him for his fight too because I see him as the sleeper in that tournament and I think he could take out everybody and win it, hopefully. So hopefully I could get something out of that camp and help him also.


What do you have to say to all of your haters? I don’t even comment to those guys man. I look at it like this, I think a lot of the times, haters are from different camps or these jealous people. I think those people are always going to be there. A comedian said something I thought was really true and funny: if you have 10 haters now you should want 20 by the end of the year. The more success you get the more haters you’re going to get. I’m not going to go on the forums, The Underground and give myself little aliases to try to make myself feel better bashing on other fighters. I think I have a little more appreciation and respect for the MMA fight game in order to not do that and I think it’s the most childish thing you can do. It’s sad that the fighters and we have managers agents and all kinds of people jumping on these forums and doing that and it doing this, that’s just not me. So to all my haters keep hating. Ha, you are helping sell my career so keep on going.


Are you and Phil Baroni going to be partying it up? Well he’s from that AKA crew, a real great group of guys and fighters, I don’t know him that well personally but if he’s any thing like those AKA guys I will definitely be hanging out with them when I’m down there.
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