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Old 06-24-2008, 11:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bobby Lashley training for MMA Debut

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by John Morgan on Jun 23, 2008 at 5:48 pm ET
LEXINGTON, Ky. - MMA promoters have long targeted professional wrestling fans as potential ticket-buyers for their own events. Now, those same promoters are targeting professional wrestling's athletes as potential stars.

Pro wrestling's latest export, recently signed American Fight League fighter Bobby Lashley, recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he doesn't want to be viewed as just another wrestler.

"I'm putting it all together," Lashley said. "I'm going into this thing not with just overpowering my own style with [wrestling]. I'm actually learning everything else. I'm learning the jiu-jitsu; I'm taking it from the basics. I'm learning my kickboxing, my boxing. I'm getting the whole game tied together. So when I debut, it's not going to be a wrestler trying to do MMA. It's going to be a fighter."

Lashley has yet to compete in his first MMA bout. That chance will come later this year, at an as-of-yet-undisclosed AFL event. But Lashley said he has been preparing for that moment for more than a year.

"I worked out with AKA (American Kickboxing Academy) for a little while," he said. "They've got a couple of really tough guys out there. More than a couple, they've got a handful of really tough guys. ... Also Nate Marquardt has a gym up in Denver. I got in there a couple times and worked out with them. There's a Fight Factory in Colorado Springs. I'm heading over to Greg Jackson's in Albuquerque. H.I.T. Squad -- Matt Hughes is a good friend of mine. I'm going to be heading out there and training with those guys. Big Ron Sparks out here in Louisville. I'm going to be hitting everything, you know? The past year, I've been training pretty hard."

The 31-year-old Lashley understands the difficulty of breaking into MMA's upper ranks. And while a higher-profile WWE export, Brock Lesnar, lost in his highly publicized UFC debut against a former heavyweight champion, Lashley says he plans to build steadily toward the top.

"Not that anybody did anything wrong, but how I look at it -- and I don't want to use the WWE, but WWE does it real well -- you don't just get in the WWE and you go against Cena or Triple H for the championship," Lashley explained. "Same thing in the UFC. Like Cain Velasquez, he's not going out there fighting (Antonio Rodrigo) Nogueira right away. ... You work your way up."

Lashley is unsure who his first foe will be, but he expects to face a mid-level opponent in his AFL debut. And the former collegiate national champion wrestler hopes for a chance to show off his newly honed striking skills as he begins his climb up the heavyweight ranks.

"I don't know who I'm going to be facing," Lashley said. "I guess [AFL officials] have a handful of people they're kind of looking at. Really doesn't matter to me. Like I said before, I want to build. I want to get a pretty decent guy, knock him out, and then start working my way up there. But it's going to be somebody pretty decent."

Lashley hopes to build steadily, but he is certainly not putting a limit on where he can go in the sport.

"I'm not going to fight anybody that's a complete slouch," Lashley said. "I'm going to have formidable opponents, and I'm going to be beating those guys up until we get to the people like the Cain Velasquezs, the Brock (Lesnars), the (Antonio Rodrigo) Nogueiras, the Fedor (Emelianenkos). I'm going to work my way up to that level, but eventually, I'm going to be fighting every one of those guys."

While many fans may scoff at those lofty goals when expressed by a newcomer such as Lashley, the former professional wrestler hopes the MMA community will reserve their judgment for now.

"Everybody just says 'Oh, WWE wrestler,'" Lashley said. "Don't take that fact as everything I did in the past. I have 17 years of wrestling experience -- national championships, world titles and everything like that. I'm coming into MMA as a student of the game, and I'm working my way up. Don't look at it as, 'OK, this is a WWE guy.' Scratch all that. Say this is a guy that wants to work his way up in the business.

"I'm going to prove myself to everybody, so give me an opportunity. That's all I hope for, an opportunity."
I like what this guy has to say, very humble!
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In a way this topic not material for UFC discussion. But I gotta say I agree, he does sound humble. Best of luck to him, I really hope he has MMA talent aside from just brute strength and wrestling.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I like how he speaks about moving from camp to camp. While many peple will say this is foolish, I liek this move. he is new to the game, it gives him the opportunity to not only see what team he works the best with, but also a chance to see what each gym has to offer and thus giving him the most opportunity to reveal the holes in his game. If he is really trying to get as well rounded as possible, and he has alrady been training for about a year, I am impressed and look forward to seeing how he does.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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nice guy i hope he does well in his mma career
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wasnt he suspended from the WWE for steroid abuse?
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wasnt he suspended from the WWE for steroid abuse?
No, he dislocated his shoulder and when he recovered from the injury the WWE didn't have any particular plans for him so he asked to get released.

I liked him in the WWE, I hope he does well, although I doubt he will ever face Nog or Fedor, but who knows...
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I believe he used steriods, but that is because he wrestled at around 190 pounds or so and is now weighing in at nearly 280. It seems fishy to me.

Aside from that though he wouldn't be the first person to use steroids in MMA and with that attitude I wish him luck.
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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He was a good wrestler in the WWE. I hope he goes far with his MMA career, he's a classy guy and I respect him for that.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well, he's certainly taking training seriously. We'll see...
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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if he stays humble and trains hard....I see this man becoming a champ soon
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