Lashley Eyes December Return Pending Strikeforce Approval

By Joe Myers Oct 12, 2010
Bobby Lashley file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com


Former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar turned mixed martial arts fighter Bobby Lashley announced Tuesday that he'll be returning to action in December.

"I'm so happy to say I will be fighting again Dec. 10 or 11. I will have all the details within the next few days," Lashley announced via Twitter on Tuesday morning. The American Top Team fighter didn't elaborate on which organization he'd be fighting for, but did say in a phone interview that he has multiple offers on the table.

"I have to stay busy after my last fight," said the 34-year-old Lashley, who is coming off a knockout loss at the hands of Chad Griggs at "Strikeforce: Houston" in August. "This year has been tough with the injuries I've had; plus I got mono. I've started back with my training and there have been a couple of fights come up that I've given a thumbs up to, and I've tentatively got a fight scheduled. It's December 10th or 11th, but I have to wait on saying who it's with. There's two different organizations that I'm talking to. I have to get out there and fight. I asked Strikeforce for a rematch (with Griggs), but I'm not sure if it's in the works."

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed that Lashley's contract with the organization has expired, but that Lashley is currently in a 90-day period where Strikeforce holds exclusive negotiating rights.

"Bobby doesn't have any fights left on his deal, but we're talking with him about getting more fights," said Coker. "We've been talking [since after the Griggs fight]. The discussions have been friendly, but we just have to get everyone on the same page when it comes to value. I think there's a lot of fight left in Bobby. I just think that in this sport, sometimes you have to take a step backward to take two steps forward."

When Coker was asked about Lashley's announcement of a potential December fight, he denied knowing anything about it and said that Strikeforce should have the right to approve any potential fights Lashley could engage in.

"I haven't heard anything about it and we don't have an event [on Dec. 10-11]," said Coker. "Any kind of an announcement on Bobby's part might be a bit premature. Bobby can take a fight in a smaller place or another promotion, but I think he'd need to get our approval first. We do let our fighters under contract fight for other organizations, but we have a lot invested in them and should have the right to approve where and when they fight."

Lashley said that while he'd like to have a fight in December, he wouldn't do anything that might disrupt his relationship with Strikeforce.

"I don't really know what's in my contract," said Lashley, who has four finishes (two knockouts, two submissions) among his five professional MMA wins. "The last thing I want to do is do something to violate my contract. After my last fight, I owe it to Scott Coker and to the world to come back stronger."

Mike Whitman contributed to this report.
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