Bobby Lashley file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Strikeforce heavyweight prospect Bobby
Lashley said he’d be willing to take a bout against fellow
World Wrestling Entertainment star Dave Batista if that was what
the promotion wanted -- though he has his reservations.
“It’s not really the direction I want to move (in), but if it’s
worth it and they really think he’s ready and Strikeforce wants me
to fight him, I’ll take the fight,” Lashley told Sherdog.com last
The 34-year-old Lashley, a former WWE champion who owns the ATT
Altitude gym in Aurora, Colo., is in his final weeks of training
for a bout against Chad Griggs
“Houston” on Aug. 21 at the Toyota Center in Houston.
A four-time All-American and three-time NAIA national champion for
Missouri Valley College, Lashley is undefeated in five pro MMA
bouts. In January, Lashley scored a first-round technical knockout
against an unthreatening Wes Sims in his
Strikeforce debut. Lashley withdrew from a June bout with the
promotion due to a minor knee injury, he said.
Batista, who recently parted ways with the WWE following an
eight-year run with the pro wrestling juggernaut, began
introductory training at the Cesar
Gracie Academy in Lodi, Calif., in July. The 41-year-old
Batista, who is said to have limited combat sports experience, is
in negotiations with the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has already hinted at a potential bout
between Lashley and Batista for one of the company’s first
pay-per-view offerings in 2010 or 2011.
Lashley and Batista worked side-by-side for a time during their
respective WWE careers. Lashley described Batista as a friend and
“a great guy” who’d take the sport and its rigorous training
schedule seriously. However, Lashley questioned whether a match
with Batista would work within his own career trajectory.
“I’ve had a good game plan up to this point and I really want to
move in the right direction,” said Lashley. “Dave’s just starting
out. I’m looking to better myself and get better opponents each
time. Griggs is 8-1 and there’s a lot of top heavyweight guys out
there right now, so I really have my eyes set on a handful of those
“I’m not disrespecting Dave at all, but he’s new to the game,”
continued Lashley. “That’s definitely a fight for the fans, but not
so much for my career. I’d do it and keep moving forward.”