Bobby Lashley is far from acclimated to the real stuff as he makes the transition from the fake world of pro wrestling to mixed martial arts. If it's John Cena or Batista saying he's going to rip your head off, you can just laugh it off. It's simply part of the act. In just his second pro MMA fight, Lashley admitted some of the pre-fight smack talk screwed with his head.
Using his wrestling and a big power advantage, Lashley rolled to a victory over Jason Guida on Roy Jones Jr.'s "March Badness" card but he said that the MMA veteran's mouth threw him off his game:
"He played a lot of head games before the fight," Lashley said in the ring following the fight. "He kind of pull me out of my training recommendations."
Guida, a late replacement for Ken Shamrock, turned the tables on Lashley at Wednesday's press conference (3:58 mark) and Thursday's weigh-in by using some pro wrestling tactics. He got right in Lashley's face on both days and said he wasn't going to pull punches like they do in pro wrestling. Lashley reacted angrily on Wednesday by trying to choke Guida.
"I came in with the wrong frame of my mind," said Lashley (2-0), who gained the unanimous decision (30-27 on all three cards). "This is a gentleman’s game. We're not Neanderthals. We’re not in here to club each other. He brought me out of my match a little. I had to listen to my corner and pull things together."
Lashley scored takedowns in all three rounds and controlled Guida on the ground, landing the occasional elbow and punch. He also scored with the best punches of the fight. Guida ate a huge right hand late in the first round. But the most dangerous moment of the fight saw Lashley in a predicament. He charged in for a takedown about 90 seconds into the final round and left his head out for Guida to slap on a guillotine choke. Guida dropped to the ground and cinched in the choke. Lashley scrambled but stayed calm and popped his head out after 20 seconds:
"A hold like that is so tight, you gotta make a decision, do you want to be a champion or just another MMA fighter? I had to dig deep cause it was tight."
Lashley said it's time to go back to the drawing board at his training homes in Colorado and American Top Team in South Florida. The 32-year-old started training in MMA last year trying to make the move over from pro wrestling (WWE 2005-2008) after a decorated career as a collegiate wrestler.
He showed some basic MMA skills. At 6-foot-3, 251 pounds, he was able to overpower the journeyman Guida (17-20) and easily controlled him on the ground but also looked a bit gassed by the middle of the third round. When he did try to box, his hands were solid but his balance was lousy. Much like fellow wrestler Brock Lesnar, who is now the UFC heavyweight champ, Lashley showed good form with his right but was awkward with his jab hand.
Guida said before the fight that he was going to ruin Lashley's dream of fighting in MMA's major league, the UFC. If the UFC chooses to pass on Lashley, there's a good chance Strikeforce, the MMA fight company televised by Showtime and CBS, will scoop him up.
Lashley was slated to fight the 45-year-old Shamrock but "The World's Most Dangerous Man" was dropped from the card when he tested positive for steroids following a fight last month in California.
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