It was widely anticipated that Bobby Lashley would be too much for the relatively unknown Chad Griggs, but Griggs had other ideas and produced a shock win over the former pro-wrestler.
Lashley had said pre-fight that he was planning to show off his stand-up, but that quickly proved not to be the case as he went for an early takedown. He lacked real aggression on the mat however for much of the round and to his credit Griggs stayed active and on more than one occasion managed to get back to his feet.
Towards the end of the first the two were back on their feet and Griggs planted a well timed uppercut on Lashley as he came in for another takedown, opening up a cut below his eye.
Lashley came out for the second round looking a little dazed and again resorted to his wrestling to take the fight to the mat. He eventually secured the mount but despite the dominant position he failed to capitalize with any substantial offense and in the end the referee decided to stand the two men up.
At this point it became clear that Lashley was exhausted as he struggled to get back to his feet. Smelling blood Griggs began to pour it on and after stuffing a sloppy takedown attempt he rained down blows on the wrestler who clung desperately to his leg.
The fight looked close to being stopped but Lashley was, at least momentarily, saved by the bell. Again he struggled to get to his feet though and the referee decided to bring an end to the fight, believing that Lashley was in no fit state to continue.
This was a major shock for Lashley who had recently talked of his desire to fight for the heavyweight title in 2011. On the strength of this performance he’s nowhere near ready for that however. This performance leaves a big question mark not only over his cardio but also his fighting spirit and overall skill-set.
Meanwhile, the result is undoubtedly a blow for Strikeforce who had high hopes that Lashley could have become a star for the promotion.
As for Griggs, this was a perfect debut that seals his place in the promotion for the time being, moves his pro record to 9-1 and puts his name on the MMA mat.