Former WWE star and collegiate wrestling champion Bobby Lashley (4-0) is likely to make his mixed martial arts debut for the San Jose-based Strikeforce promotion against Yohan Banks (2-1) at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida on Saturday, Jan. 30, according to MMAWeekly.
The "Miami" bout has yet to be finalized and is currently awaiting commission approval.
"The Dominator," who also moonlights as a "face" for TNA Wrestling, entered the world of cage fighting back in Dec. 2008 as a co-headliner for South Florida's Mixed Fighting Alliance (MFA). The 6'3" powerhouse needed just 41-seconds to extirpate Joshua Franklin via doctor's stoppage.
Of course comparisons to fellow ex-WWE and amateur wrestler Brock Lesnar quickly followed, as the pasty-faced Goliath needed just four fights to win the UFC heavyweight championship from Randy Couture just a month prior to Lashley's MMA debut.
Those comparisons were quickly eradicated courtesy of Jason Guida at "March Badness" earlier this year.
Most expected the American Top Team-trained fighter in just his second professional fight to steamroll the floundering journeyman.
It didn’t happen.
Despite taking the unanimous decision victory, Lashley looked a bit green against the Ultimate Fighter washout and nearly succumbed to a guillotine choke in the third round of their pay-per-view contest.
His inexperience was clearly evident.
What was also evident was his desire to fight -- and improve. The Junction City, Kansas native took a fight against Mike Cook just two months later, submitting the Strikeforce veteran just 24-seconds into the first round at MFC 21: "Hard Knocks."
His most recent fight came against K-1 attraction Bob Sapp in the main event of "Ultimate Chaos" back on June 27. "The Beast" was put down in the first round via technical knockout and along with the quick win over Mike Cook, helped return some of the optimism to Lashley's future as a viable heavyweight contender.
Standing in his way is two-time Strikeforce "Young Guns" competitor Yohan Banks.
"The Body Snatcher" hasn't seen the inside of a cage since knocking out Michael Diaz at "Young Guns 3" back in September 2008; however, Banks has been busy as a pugilistic fighting out of his Undisputed Boxing Gym in California and compiling a 2-3-3 record in the sweet science.
Can this power puncher avoid the takedowns and ground and pound of Lashley? It only takes one clean shot...
Strikeforce: "Miami" features a main event between Nick Diaz and DREAM Welterweight Champion Marius Zaromskis for the promotion's vacant 170-pound world title. Female powerhouse Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos will put her 145-pound title on the line against Marloes Coenen in the co-featured fight of the night.
In addition, feared K-1 striker "Marvelous" Melvin Manhoef will make his Strikeforce debut opposite the power-punching "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler. And joining them on the main card is the welterweight showdown between Jay "The Thoroughbred" Hieron and Joe "Diesel" Riggs.
Not too shabby.
For more on Strikeforce: "Miami" click here.