It was reported today by various sources that Former pro-wrestler turned MMA fighter Bobby Lashley’s current deal with Strikeforce has now expired.
The news first emerged from the subscription site Wrestling Observer who note that the promotion now have an exclusive negotiating period and following that also has the right to match any other offer he receives.
The 6ft 3″, 265lb+ Lashley was seen as a hot property when he made the transition to MMA after becoming a star in the WWE, following in the footsteps of Brock Lesnar who had quickly become the sports most bankable star.
Lashley has not experienced the same meteoric rise though despite signing a deal with Strikeforce, preferring to opt for an overly cautious approach to selecting opponents which back-fired on him when one such fighter, the unheralded Chad Griggs, handed the 34 year-old the first loss of his career at Strikeforce: Houston back in August.
It was a humiliating loss for the fighter who gassed in the second round of the fight and could barely get back on his feet and walk to his stool, forcing the referee to call a halt to the contest. Lashley was later seen being taken out of the arena in a stretcher and was later diagnosed with severe dehydration.
Since then little has been heard from Lashley, and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has struggled to muster up enthusiasm for the wrestlers return – not surprising given the substantial sum they are likely to be paying to retain his services given his star power.
There are now suggestions that Lashley could be set to abandon the sport in favor of a return to wrestling. Personally I would not be overly disappointed if he did, but if he does leave it will confirm what I’ve been questioning for some time now, whether he has the heart of a fighter or not.
He may have many of the physical tools to be an imposing presence at heavyweight, but if he doesn’t have the will to win and the mindset to get into the trenches and fight tooth and nail to succeed like his pro-wrestling compatriot Lesnar then he’s in the wrong sport and should step aside now.