Following his dominant victory over Josh Burns, Bobby Lashley was relived to win by submission. While remaining positive, he remains adamant in looking to improve.
“It’s hard to find the perfect performance. I wanted to get in a little more. Then I wanted to strike more, basically using my hands. There is always room for improvement”.
Lashley was in tremendous shape once again. He’s always been a freak specimen that had great wrestling. With Burns looking to stand-and-trade, he saw a clear advantage on taking the fight to the ground. That led to multiple key-lock submission attempts. Although it didn’t come to fruition, it was proof that he took his training seriously in his return.
“I’ve been getting a lot people with the Americana submission in training. That’s from working with combination of catch wrestlers and Jiu-Jitsu specialists. It’s always been my go to move to begin with. Josh (Burns) was ridiculously strong, so it was hard to fully crank his arm. Eventually I had to go for the choke, when I took his back”.
After not taking any damage, the question was already brought up about a quick return for him. Bellator will be holding an event in Kansas on October 23rd. Lashley was immediately intrigued by the prospect.
“I can do that being from there. I went to high school in Missouri and then went to college in Kansas. If the time is right, I’ll do it.”
He remains to be calm and collective as a person. From his interviews in WWE, TNA, and Strikeforce, Lashley has always been the professional. On the countdown show for Bellator 123, he mentioned Cheick Kongo’s name as someone he’d be interested in fighting in. Don’t misconstrue that into a call-out though.
“I’m never the type to call out fighters. I’ll never be that guy. I was thinking of some of the top heavyweights. This is my last run as a fighter and I want to hit this hard. I’ve been looking at the heavyweight division mostly the top contenders. Cheick is certainly one of them, along with many other heavyweights”.
It was his first fight in over two years under a new promotional banner. With the pressure of being the face of TNA as their heavyweight champion, nerves could have potentially been an issue. Many wrestling fans were tuning into the fight. Thankfully for his case, he was well prepared by training at American Top Team.
“I had nerves, but I was ready for this moment. My training camp was good from training with fighters like Bigfoot Silva to Shawn Jordan to Todd Duffee. They helped me become fully prepared, but the pressure was still there coming from pro wrestling. I’m the TNA heavyweight champion, which is a demanding spot. Also, Spike has been promoting me heavily for both promotions”.
Lashley is one of the few pro wrestlers to make the jump to MMA. That leads to the potential of their being any comparisons between both entities. Despite the bumps and bruises, he remains happy in doing it.
“Pro Wrestling is something I’ve done for so long now. I’ve always enjoyed it. Sometimes I’m so focused with training or fighting that I can’t enjoy it as much. That’s the big difference”.
One of his closest training partners is Josh Barnett. Although he didn’t get to work with him very often during his camp, Lashley still credits him for giving him guidance.
“Josh called me right before the fight. I always look for the call from him before any fight I’m in. He’s such a genius in fighting, along with having unbelievable experience. He called me right before telling me to stick to my game plan. We didn’t get to train that much in the past few months, but we’re still really tight. He originally helped me work on that top wrist lock, which helped me greatly tonight. I have a lot of respect for Josh for what he’s done in the sport and how positive he’s always been in reminding me to embrace the moment. Of course, I want to be focused but I need to embrace this as well since this is my last run.”.