Just one day after Mark Martinez was announced as Bobby Lashley’s new opponent for Shark Fights 21, the promotion was informed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation that Martinez’s blood work has expired and he will not be permitted to compete on Friday’s card. Martinez was Lashley’s third opponent to pull out of the fight.
Stepping in for Martinez will be well-rounded veteran and Minnesota native Karl Knothe. Lashley (6-1) and Knothe (20-6) will compete for the Shark Fights heavyweight title in the Shark Fights 21 main event on Friday, Nov. 11, at Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, Tecas.
Knothe is going to be a tough test for the former WWE superstar. With 20 wins under his belt, only one of those fights went the distance. Eleven of his victories have come via submission and eight by knockout. Knothe is currently riding a 12-fight win streak and is coming off a first round TKO victory over Victor Valimaki at TFC 12 last December.
Shark Fights executive Wes Nolen commented on Lashley’s mind frame throughout this process:
“I want to thank Bobby Lashley for all his patience. After three opponent changes, it would have been very easy for Bobby to call off the fight, but he’s a true fighter that accepted any and all opponents we put in front of him. He has never complained once and just continues to train hard.”
Lashley last fought in March, winning a unanimous decision over John Ott at Titan Fighting Championship 17 in Kansas City. Coincidentally, Knothe also holds a win over Ott; a first round TKO (doctor stoppage) victory back in 2009.