It wasn't a great night for Bobby Lashley. Once again, he looked one-dimensional in his fight against Chad Griggs. He suffered a nasty cut under his left eye that didn't exactly motivate him to fight harder. Lashley also gassed out midway into second round. Worst of all, he his first loss in MMA was to a guy no one thought had a chance. After that performance, it will be pretty tough to sell Lashley in a fight against a big name opponent. It even sounded like Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker was going to need some convincing.
"We'll be talking to Bobby later. You know he's going to have to do some soul searching and really decide what he wants to do," said Coker. "But if he decides to fight, we'll have him back."
The MMA blogosphere reacted strongly to that statement. Was it an overreaction by the MMA pundits? We're not sure. It was a bold statement by Coker about a guy who had just lost his first fight. Lashley, 34, is still a good prospect but clearly has things he needs to work on. That certainly doesn't mean his career is without a future. Especially if we find out that he was dealing with some kind of serious ailment going into or during the fight.
Coker explained his stance on WJFK's MMA Nation radio show (5:25 mark).
"Mixed martial arts is sport where sometimes you're going to get hit, you're going to get hurt. It's not like pro wrestling," said Coker. " As he's working his way up he's going to come to a point where he says 'is this something I want to do?' You're working your way up and now you get a real clear picture of what mixed martial arts is and do you want to work through it and continue, or do you want to do something else?"
Coker may have questions about Lashley's dedication but he knows one thing, the Lashley hype machine needs to slow down.
"The thing that's not fair for Bobby is he has all these high expectations from all these people," Coker told host Luke Thomas. "People think he should be right in there with Fedor. I mean come on, let's be real, he's not at that level right now."
The PW Torch reported on what forced Lashley to the hospital after the fight.
Lashley was said to be "extremely dehydrated" after his fight against Chad Griggs on the "Showtime: Houston" fight card. At the hospital, Lashley was treated with multiple IV bags to pump fluids back into his system.
Coker said he still believes Lashley would continue his MMA career but was non-committal on a fight against fellow pro wrestler Dave Batista. Coker said on MMA Nation that Lashley had already reached out to Strikeforce and wants to fight immediately.