Bellator 130’s Bobby Lashley: ‘There is no limit to what I can accomplish’

mma_Bobby_lashleyBobby Lashley is a busy man. The current Bellator heavyweight is much more well-known for his stints in WWE where he rose to fame as a US champion as well as being a two-time ECW champion. He currently competes for TNA on Spike TV where he was the TNA Heavyweight Champion as recently as one month ago. As a mixed martial artist, Lashley currently holds an 11-2 overall record and has won four straight contests in dominant fashion. He’s been putting aside all his distractions as he trains at American Top Team for what he calls his ‘final run’ in MMA. His run continues tonight (October 24, 2014) as he steps into the cage opposite undefeated Karl Etherington at Bellator 130 on the Spike TV main card in Mulvane, Kansas. The 38-year old super athlete spoke to MMAOddsBreaker about his potential as a fighter, his title aspirations and the business side of professional wrestling in this exclusive interview. Check it out: Brian Hemminger: You had your first fight with Bellator less than two months ago. How does it feel to have such a quick turnaround? Did you just want to pack in as many fights as possible before the end of 2014? Bobby Lashley: Yeah, that wasn’t initially the plan but I wanted to stay active. For me, it didn’t make any sense. I told people in interviews that this run is my last one so to take a big break off after the last fight wouldn’t be beneficial to my career. They were able to get me another fight quickly and I was ready for it. I didn’t take any abuse in my last fight so I was able to get right back into training for this one before the holiday season came. Brian Hemminger: People have been critical of you saying that you couldn’t have enough proper conditioning to be an MMA fighter because of your size and muscle mass, but do you feel like you’ve answered your critics in your last two fights, going five rounds two bouts ago and most recently getting that late second round submission victory? Bobby Lashley: Yeah, I haven’t really paid attention to the critics. They’re just off the wall critiques and I can’t address all of them. I’m just gonna keep doing the things I have to do and when I was fighting the first time, I didn’t condition myself properly for the three round fights because I just didn’t know how. I was just going out there and doing what I thought I should do and my conditioning was off and my training was off. Of late, everything’s changed around. I’m just a completely different fighter. I believe now that the conditioning is not that big of a factor. I can go into the later rounds and be completely fine. Brian Hemminger: What are some of the things you’ve done to help yourself become a better-conditioned fighter? What are some of the things you’ve learned to help yourself improve that aspect of your game? Bobby Lashley: I think part of it is that I’m taking my time out there. I’m not trying to rush anything and I’ve just been training harder and training smarter. When I get out there, I’m not going zero to 60 and get my opponent out of there real quick. I’m taking my time and just enjoying being out there. That’s the biggest part of it, just being relaxed, going out there and enjoying it, taking my time and being ready. Brian Hemminger: There were all kinds of crazy rumors surrounding your last fight saying if you lost to Josh Burns, it could affect your status in TNA and everything because you were the champion at the time. What was it like fighting with that pressure potentially? Bobby Lashley: Yeah, I knew that going into it but that was kind of, I would say it’s kind of BS. I was not happy about that because it doesn’t work the other way. They can say, “If you lose to him, we’re gonna take your belt,” and I go, “But if I win, I keep the belt forever, right?” They’re response was “Oh, not necessarily.” I just let those things go. Brian Hemminger: You have a tough test in front of you in Karl Etherington. Is there anything about his game that you feel you need to be prepared for? Bobby Lashley: Yeah, I know he’s going to come out fast and come out strong. That’s one thing that I know that I have to be wary of. I’ve seen what he does in fights and he comes out fast and quick and tries to end them really fast so I just have to keep him from taking control of the match early and if I can do that I think I’ll be just fine. Brian Hemminger: You mentioned how you wished things went the other way in TNA, but how about in Bellator? If you go out there and take care of business like the betting odds say you will, you’re in potential title contention due to your name and standing in the promotion since they don’t have the tournament model anymore. Is that something that’s in the back of your mind right now? Bobby Lashley: Yeah, absolutely. Man, right now I’m just trying to do it all and with this being my last run, the next couple fights are very important for me. This fight, the next fight and the fight afterwards are going to be crucial. Every one of my fights that are happening now are very important with my standing. I don’t know how much my work with TNA will do in regards to me potentially being Bellator champion other than them both currently being on Spike, but we’ll see. Brian Hemminger: Does any of the uncertainty with your other job in TNA, since there are a lot of crazy rumors going around, did that affect any of your preparation for this fight? It can be a distraction I would assume. Bobby Lashley: No, no. My motto is always, “Stay in your lane” and my lane is not contracts with a league or television station or anything like that. My lane is to train and prepare and wrestle and perform. I do my job and I hope they do theirs. If we get a good channel spot which I think we could and we should, then that’s great. If we don’t, all my focus is going to be on fighting. Brian Hemminger: Could that be a benefit for you? Being able to focus 100 percent on fighting, what do you think your potential could be? Bobby Lashley: Well, if put in the right situation, I think my potential is limitless. Being able to train full time in Coconut Creek with all these terrific athletes, there’s no limit to what I can accomplish. Brian Hemminger: Now we always hear the classic tales of gym warriors, guys who are just monsters in training. Who is it that pushes you to your limit the most when you’re training for a fight? Bobby Lashley: Well one guy is my training partner right now and he’s actually fighting on the same card. His name is Alex Huddleston and he’s fighting on the preliminary card. He’s a young gun moving up and I think he’s going to be the next big thing in the heavyweight division. He’s incredible. He’s my primary training partner and he’s constantly pushing me and I’m constantly pushing him. Brian Hemminger: Last thing I have for you. When you’re picturing victory against Karl, what do you see? Bobby Lashley: I see that it’s going to be a hard fight early and we’re gonna just battle, but I see myself wearing him down until he doesn’t have anything left for me and I’ll just finish him off whether it’s ground and pound or a submission. Bobby would like to thank MMA Warehouse, Quest, Future Legend and all his training partners at American Top Team. You can follow him on Twitter @FightBobby.    

Written by Brian Hemminger

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