Former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley will make his long awaited mixed martial arts debut at Mixed Fight Alliance: "There Will Be Blood" at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Fla., on December 13.
No opponent has been named at this time, but that hasn't stopped local radio stations in the South Florida area from promoting the appearance almost two months out from the actual event.
Lashley was a three-time national champion collegiate wrestler at Missouri Valley College from 1996-1998. After college he turned professional and it wasn't long before the enormous and naturally gifted athlete made his way into the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) ... the pinnacle of the industry.
WWE President and CEO Vince McMahon more or less brought Lashley in as a replacement for Brock Lesnar -- who at the time had recently retired and now competes under the UFC banner. He needed a big buy like Lesnar who could come in and wow the crowd with his freakish size, strength and athleticism.
Ironically, Lashley is once again following in Brock's footsteps as he attempts to make the transition into the sport of mixed martial arts.
Lesnar -- who will fight for the UFC heavyweight championship next month in only his fourth professional fight -- has obviously already made his presence felt big time in the fight game. It's going to be interesting to see if Lashley can produce similar results.
It certainly doesn't hurt his cause that he gets his day-to-day training at American Top Team (ATT) in Coconut Creek, Fla., which has a sick stable of fighters, including heavyweights Antonio Silva, Jeff Monson, Thiago Alves, Gesias 'JZ' Cavalcante, Wilson Gouveia, Denis Kang, Thiago Silva and many others to train with and learn from.
Lashley is 32 years old, which isn't young in today's mixed martial arts world, so he'll have to learn quickly if he wants to make his mark. But his background in wrestling along with his size and strength advantage should provide him with enough of a base to be competitive on a big stage right away.
We'll find out on December 13.
Lashley is currently under contract with the American Fight League (AFL). The two parties inked a two-fight deal with an option for a third earlier this year. But like most of the other fighters under contract with the fledgling promotion, he still has the freedom to fight in other organizations so long as it doesn't interfere with any AFL obligations.
The promotion decided to hold off on its inaugural event until sometime in early 2009, clearing the way for Lashley to compete on the December 13 MFA show.
Jeff "The Snowman" Monson (26-8) is also expected to be in action at the American Airlines Arena along with Lashley. An opponent has not yet been named for him either at this time.