Yesterday we brought you news of Herschel Walker’s first opponent for his MMA debut at Strikeforce: Miami on January 30th – Greg Nagy, who is a relative novice himself with a record of just 1-1.
Now word reaches us that Bobby Lashley’s Strikeforce debut at the same event will come against Yohan Banks, who is currently 2-1 in mixed martial arts competition.
The fact that Walker is getting an inexperienced opponent isn’t overly surprising considering he is a 47 year old former NFL star with no previous fights under his belt.
At the same time I’m uncomfortable with the idea of this fight making the main card while the established pairing of Jay Heiron Vs Joe Riggs appears destined to play out on the undercard – particularly since prelims are not aired on Strikeforce events.
It’s more disappointing that Lashley will also be facing a green opponent in Banks. Though the wrestler only has a record of 4-0, he’s done enough to warrant a more significant challenge than this. Bear in mind that Banks hasn’t fought an MMA bout since September of 2008, yet this fight will find it’s way onto the main card.
While it’s understandable that Strikeforce will want to give fighters who they hope can be potential stars for them in the future a chance to get off to a winning start, they also have to be mindful not to make their plans so transparent that they begin to damage their own credibility.
Luckily for the promotion they have some quality fights elsewhere on the main card with Nick Diaz and Marius Zaromskis fighting for the welterweight title, Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Santos defending her belt in an intriguing encounter with Marloes Coenen, and a guaranteed barnburner in the shape of Robbie Lawler Vs Melvin Manhoef.
If they were to put Lashley up against a slightly more established fighter, and promoted the Heiron – Riggs fight to the main card instead of Herschel’s debut, then I’d have nothing but good things to say about the line-up.