Earlier this year, mixed martial artist and professional wrestler Bobby Lashley signed a contract to compete in Bellator and he will make his promotional debut on Friday night at Bellator 123 when he meets Josh Burns in the opening bout of the main card on Spike TV.
Lashley (10-2) enters the promotion on a three fight winning streak and his most recent win came nearly ten months ago as he won the XFN heavyweight title by decision against Tony Melton.
It’s very well documented that Lashley is a professional wrestler with TNA Impact Wrestling, which is also on Spike TV. Lashley is one of two active fighters that are currently competing in TNA, with the other being Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal.
Lawal has been asked multiple times which sport is tougher and Lashley feels for him, MMA is tougher that wrestling to prepare for.
“I think it’s more of MMA because with professional wresting, I have the opportunity to just kind of relax and be stressed,” Lashley told TheMMAReport.com. “With MMA, there is a little more stress involved with it because I have a lot riding on my shoulders. One being a professional wrestler, there is half of the professional wrestling group that wants to see me to succeed and then some of the more hardcore MMA fans can of want to see me not do as well. There is a lot riding on my shoulders when I go to fight but it is what it is. With professional wrestling, I get the opportunity to train and relax and I have done it so often and long so I don’t have to so much train, train, train hard for the matches so I just have to basically stay in shape.”
Due to his schedule with professional wrestling, people do wonder how he is able to balance his schedule. This is something he has dealt with for multiple years and admitted that he has more support now in his life than he had in the past.
“It’s tough but I have a good group of people working with me,” he said. “I have a lot of support now, which I did not have before. It’s given me an opportunity to do things that I have to do. I was able to go down to Florida and train for awhile. TNA has been really helpful, helping out with my schedule, and just giving me the opportunity to get away when I need to and train. With the right support, it can happen.”
Lashley is a single father of three children (3, 6, and 9 years old) and he has to balance his schedule of being a father, professional wrestler, and mixed martial artist. A major part of his support group that he has now in his life in his girlfriend, who helps him out with his children.
“One is that I am a single father and my girlfriend has stepped up a lot, and helps me out with my kids,” Lashley said. “My kids actually go with me to train but when I am there, she helps me with watching them in a hotel and then at home, she gives me the opportunity to break away for a little while and leave a couple of days here and there to train.”
If you happen to read message boards or messages on social media, there are people that may not want to see Lashley succeed in the mixed martial arts arena. Lashley is aware of these people but believes most of the people in this sport do want to see everyone succeed.
“I do not think that all of them want do but there are those hardcore fans that do not want to give credit to professional wrestling,” he said. “They just want to say ‘oh, he is a professional wrestler’ and they want to kind of erase all of my wrestling background and amateur wrestling background, and all of the years I have fought and trained. There are some of the hardcore people that just want to see you succeed. Those are the naysayers. The haters that are online but for the most part, everybody wants to see everyone do well in this sport.”
Lashley will meet Josh Burns in the opening fight of Friday’s main card on Spike TV at a special start time of 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and he has visualized ways of how he is going to win the fight. A win is a win for him, but a submission could end up being his path to victory.
“If it goes down to the ground, I have a whole bunch of submissions waiting for him just based on the way he fights and what I think is going to open up because of the way he fights. I think it’s going to end up in a submission but ground and pound or something from my feet, I will take anything. A win is a win.”