Former WWE star and collegiate wrestling champion Bobby Lashley (4-0) has signed a multi-year agreement with Strikeforce and will make his mixed martial arts debut for the San Jose-based promotion at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida on Saturday, Jan. 30, against an opponent to be named.
Terms of the contract were not immediately disclosed.
"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.
Prior to MMA, Lashley had a successful amateur background in wrestling, twice winning the NAIA college championship and then winning a pair of U.S. Armed Forces titles.
Lashley could debut alongside Herschel Walker at the BankAtlantic Center -- or against him, depending on how the Jan. 30 card shapes up.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more information on Bobby Lashley's pending Strikeforce debut as it becomes available.