Credit: Esther Lin / STRIKEFORCE
The always insightful Jim Ross updated his personal blog this afternoon with some thoughts on last night's Strikeforce: Houston card. Obviously he had a lot to say about Bobby Lashley:
Bobby Lashley lost for the first time Saturday night by technical knockout in an ugly effort that exposed Bobby's lack of MMA technique specifically Lashley's ability to utilize submissions. Bobby did not look good, seemed to fatigue, and was too heavy/thick from this fan's observation. I still think that Lashley has a shot at a successful MMA career but he's got lots of work to do in a high level training center and to mentally commit 100% to his new vocation. He also needs to physically downsize ... If Bobby decides to have one more go at it and loses again, I would be surprised to see him remain in MMA. That's pure, individual speculation.
I think JR nailed it on the head with this observation. Lashley has always looked comically overdeveloped. While his beach muscles may look good in the pro wrestling world they are definitely a detriment to his MMA career as those muscles needed more oxygen than his body could absorb (aka HE GASSED!). While JR may think that his next loss will be his last I would not be surprised if he does not fight again. Lashley has been criticized for taking on less than stellar competition while openly stating he would like to fight the biggest names Strikeforce has to offer. Now that a relative unknown has knocked him off course it's tough to take Lashley seriously when he says he'll fight Fedor Emelianenko or Alistair Overeem.
If Strikeforce now signs Bautista and Dave then would fight Bobby Lashley then the fight would be nothing more than merely an "attraction fight" and will obviously not be a highly skilled MMA contest between two, finely tuned and experienced MMA fighters. Notice that I did not say that the fight wouldn't garner a TV rating or create a buzz within the MMA community and in the TV world if promoted properly. I don't see it as a PPV fight but perhaps not a bad choice for CBS, if they are still in play.
Would this even be a viable fight at this point? Lashley is already on record saying that he will take this fight if it is his next fight. JR said that Bautista is still recovering from lingering injuries suffered during his waning WWE days. Combine that with the fact that he does not even have a contract with Strikeforce yet and it is looking as if this "dream match" is pretty far off in the horizon. If Lashley does decide to get back in the cage I can't see him being idle for too long as he'll be looking to avenge last night's loss. If this fight is ever going to happen then Strikeforce needs to go the extra mile and set up a four man tournament consisting of Lashley, Bautista, Herschel Walker and Jose Canseco. I'd buy that for a dollar!
Gus Johnson is ill informed that pro wrestling blood is fake. That statement made Johnson sound bad and underscored many in MMA's pro wrestling bias. Mauro Ranallo understands pro wrestling better than any of his broadcast partners even though Frank Shamrock knows the upside and downside of the pro wrestling biz. Ranallo and Shamrock are the team that the Showtime people should hang their hat on as Johnson feels as if he's a corporate hire and for the wrong reasons.
I really like Gus Johnson for his work during March Madness but he is absolutely brutal when calling MMA. I understand that Pro Wrestling is the mouth breathing, knuckle dragging, neck beard having cousin of MMA but to make such an egregious statement blows me away. While this statement was nowhere near as bad as his classic "Sometimes these things happen in MMA" call it still made him come across as extremely disrespectful.
The rest of his blog, which covers topics such as the WWE's Asian tour, MMA fighters who can't talk and Skandor Akbar, can be read here.