On May 15th Bobby Lashley put his opponent, Mike Cook, to sleep just twenty-four seconds into the first round at Maximum Fighting Championship’s “MFC 21: Hard Knocks” at the River Cree Hotel and Casino just outside Alberta, Canada.
The eyes of the MMA world have been on the former WWE superstar since first entering the real world of professional mixed martial arts last December. Since that time, the 6’3″ 250-pound heavyweight has put together an impressive 3-0 record.
On June 27th Lashley will face his toughest challenge to date when he gets in the cage with 6’4″ 350-pound former NFL football player Bob “The Beast” Sapp at “Ultimate Chaos” at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi.
In a recent press release received by PRO MMA (promma.info), Bob Sapp talked about his game plan as well as what he thinks Lashley’s strategy will be,
“This fight is what fight fans want to see. It’s intriguing and will be very entertaining. Bobby is bringing ‘The Beast’ out in me; I want to brawl. I’m the last person to say I’m a submission artist. I want to box. I’m a brawler. I’m going to come at him with my long arms and legs, punching and kicking. He’s going to come strong at me, trying to take me off balance, but I’ll come back with a straight right knee to his jaw and follow with a left hook. He’s never been hit by anybody like me. He’s new on the MMA scene. Bobby’s more or less a grounder and pounder who wants to slam me and hold me down. He’ll throw in some elbows and maybe some new, slick MMA moves. What’s left?”
Apparently, “The Beast” has not been keeping up with the news, because Lashley told us here at PRO MMA (promma.info) plainly he intends to stand toe-to-toe with Sapp,
“A lot of people have the strategy of weathering the storm for about two minutes and then fighting him [Sapp]. 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.”
As a veteran of the game who is an absolute legend in Japan, Bob Sapp offers a bit of advice to the MMA novice making the transition from professional wrestling,
“I’m a huge test for him, which says a lot about Bobby. He has no fear of getting cracked real hard. It could be a flash knockdown or an accumulation of punches, which does worse damage and is tougher to get over. Bobby’s powerful, his slams are strong and he does have some pro wrestling moves. But I’ll be faster than he imagines. If he wants to be a star in MMA, he needs a more entertaining style of fighting, one that I’ve built my career on. I’m more of an entertaining fighter than typical MMA guy.”
In large part the American MMA audience is unfamiliar with Bob Sapp. He plans to change that with a victory over Bobby Lashley. According to Sapp, he has stepped up his training and is more focused than he has been in the past,
“This fight is going to let fans in the U.S. know that Bob’s still around. I’ve been fighting for organizations all over the world, in a ring, not a cage. I want to go at it and make all my fights exciting. I’ll be training 20 days in a Judo center in Japan (for a DREAM show there in late May) and it’ll be the first time that I’m only training for an MMA fight – no movies, no television, just training every day. It’s a great opportunity for me and American fans are going to see the real Beast.”
Also on the “Ultimate Chaos” card will be a co-feature that could be the main event on most cards, former UFC title challenger and feared Brazilian striker, Pedro “The Rock” Rizzo (16-8-0), takes on controversial Dutch heavyweight Gilbert “The Hurricane” Yvel (35-13-3).
Dangerous lightweight Din “Dinyero” Thomas (24-8-0), star of The Ultimate Fighter 4, faces former KOTC and Gladiator Challenge champion Javier “Showtime” Vasquez and Canadian lightweight sensation Chris “The Polish Hammer” Horodecki (12-1-0) meets dangerous William “The Bull” Sriyapai (12-4-0).
In a welterweight showdown, Brett Cooper (8-4-0) will face Waachiim “Native Warrior” Spirit Wolf (5-4). Affliction vice president Tom Atencio (1-0) will fight Randy Hedderick at lightweight. James Orso (3-2-0) takes on Colby McMahan (1-0-0) at middleweight and Danny Abbadi (3-4-0) will face Lance Thomson (1-0-0) also at middleweight. Eric Bradley (2-1-0) faces Colin McKee (3-2-0) at welterweight.
(All fights and fighters are subject to change)
Tickets are priced at $25.00 (limited discount seating), $40.00 (general admission) and $55.00 (premium reserved seating) and sale at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum and all TicketMaster outlets.
By: Jack Bratcher