Former WWE star turned MMA fighter Bobby Lashley revealed to PRO MMA ( this past weekend his plans to work with TNA approximately four days a month in addition to his full-time MMA career. According to Lashley, wrestling for TNA would provide him with some much-needed extra income. Traveling back and forth from his home in Colorado to train with American Top Team in Florida is not cheap.

In addition, Lashley filled us in on details surrounding his upcoming fight with Bob Sapp as well as his signing with Maximum Fighting Championship. Lashley attended “XFC 8: Regional Conflict” in Knoxville, TN on April 25th to present the XFC Featherweight Title and to sign a fight contracts with both the MFC and XFC on the same night.

Lashley also gave us his opinion on UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, talked about his conversations with UFC President Dana White, and if there could be a future for him with MMA’s premiere organization.

PRO MMA: How did the Bob Sapp fight come about?
LASHLEY: That was just a deal where someone called American Top Team and they spoke with Dan Lambert there. Dan called me up and he was excited about the fight, and I’ve been training down there and he knows what I can do, so he thought that was a great fight. Everybody, you know, my last couple of fights…you have critics for everything you do and these critics have said, “Let’s get Bobby fighting a bigger guy so he won’t out power him.” Bob Sapp is a hundred pounds more than me so I’m not going to out power him, so that’s going to be one less thing they can talk about.

PRO MMA: How much do you know about Bob Sapp, have you seen a lot of his fights?
LASHLEY: I’ve seen what he’s done. I think he’s the type that if you…a lot of people have the strategy of weathering the storm for about two minutes and then fighting him. I don’t think I’m going to do that, I think I’m gonna go head up with him. He likes to brawl and he only has maybe a round in him, possibly maybe two rounds in him, so I’m just gonna go and take it to him those two rounds that he has and fight and just go to town. I mean, I’ve been working pretty hard, I feel pretty comfortable with what I’m doing so let’s go head up.

PRO MMA: Do you think he’s a big step up from the last two guys you fought?
LASHLEY: I don’t think anybody is really a step up right now. I think all these guys are tough. I think Guida is tough in his own right for the amount of fights he had and the first guy I fought, I hope he starts getting more fights under his belt cause I heard he’s actually a pretty tough fighter. That was his debut fight so they had nothing to go by. He’ll get some more fights under his belt and they’ll see how good he actually is, so we’ll see.

PRO MMA: So you have one fight on the contract with Sapp and you are supposed to sign with MFC tonight, is that right?
LASHLEY: Yep, I think I’m doing MFC…MFC’s fight is in three weeks so I’m going to have that fight even before I have the Bob Sapp fight.

PRO MMA: OK. So how do you feel right now, you feel totally ready?
LASHLEY: I feel great man, I’ve been training hard. I actually went this morning and trained here in Tennessee in Knoxville and man I feel great. I was hitting mitts real well, I was sparring with some of these guys. I felt like an animal. I’m pretty excited and I’m a little amped up right now because I had a good training session. I love to train. So the training session I had today just kind of put me on a high right now.

PRO MMA: Where are you from Bobby?
LASHLEY: I live in Denver, but I train down in Ft. Lauderdale, so it’s kind of back and forth. I’m going to take a little dip out to Vegas this week, do a little bit of training out there and then I’m going to fly down to Ft. Lauderdale and finish up and then go out there and battle.

PRO MMA: Where in Vegas are you going to be training…Xtreme Couture?
LASHLEY: Ahhhh…I can’t really say that right now. There’s a couple of different gyms over there so we’ll see when I get there.

PRO MMA: How did you get hooked up with XFC? How did you come to show up here tonight?
LASHLEY: Well we’ve talked to them several different times. My manager talked to them about fighting for ’em cause they are just what I want to be in cause I’m not taking that step up to the UFC right now, I’m taking steps to make it up there. And that’s what people…I take a lot of criticism because of that, but I’m taking my time. I think this fight game is a learning progress. The guys in the UFC have plenty of fights under their belt and they’re incredible fighters so I think what I’m trying to do is fight in these organizations and build myself up and get my ring rust in and get some fights under my belt so that I feel really comfortable. And when I feel really comfortable I take that step up to the UFC, Strikeforce, Affliction, whichever one it is and then start fighting the big boys. I don’t want to go into those organizations as another fighter working my way up. I want to go into those organizations as a serious contender for a title when I make it over there.

PRO MMA: Have you had talks with Dana White and the UFC?

PRO MMA: How did that go?
LASHLEY: I think my manager talked to the promoter a few times. Actually, I talked to them a few weeks back. They understand what I’m doing. They said it’s a good plan. We have Brock in here for someone that’s just a spectacle. I don’t want to say “spectacle” cause I think Brock is legit. I mean I believe he’s legit. I mean he won a title and he beat some tough fighters. But for me it’s like, we just don’t want to put another guy that just came out of professional wrestling, even though I have a background, we could still put you in the UFC and have everybody say, “Oh here’s another wrestler.” That’s not what he wants to do with me. That’s not what I want to do.

PRO MMA: Could you face Brock right now or you think you need a little more time?
LASHLEY: For me, I’m willing to fight anyone at anytime. If the contract was put in front of my face to fight Brock, I would definitely fight him. Do I want to fight him now? No. not at all. I still want to learn. There’s a lot more to learn. I’ve been working on my hands a lot. I think there’s a lot more I can improve on even though I feel really comfortable now, I want to get better and better. Jiu-Jitsu also, I want to get better. So when I get to the point where I feel I’m at a good level in each one of those martial arts, then that’s when I’m going to start attacking those big guys. So all of them better be ready because I’m on my way.

PRO MMA: Awesome man. So how long do you think it will be before we see you in “the big show?”
LASHLEY: I would hope that it’s less than two years. This will be my first year. In December I will have one solid year. So, I’m hoping within two years. Finish off this year, then maybe a year. So, a year and a half from now I’d like to be in there.

PRO MMA: There were some rumors you were going to try out for TUF 10, The Ultimate Fighter 10. Was that just rumors or what?
LASHLEY: No, I said it. I said it. But my management and some of the other people said that wouldn’t be a good idea because I’m on the outside and taking the fights I want to take and building myself the way I want to build. So they decided, it wouldn’t be a good idea to do that right now.

PRO MMA: Alright. Well, thanks a lot.
LASHLEY: My pleasure.

(To listen to this interview go HERE)

By:  Jack Bratcher

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