Bobby Lashley has long been one of pro wrestling’s biggest names. There was a time when it looked like he’d have the same success in mixed martial arts. He decided to walk away from MMA, and his reasons where understandable.
On Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour, the new WWE champion discussed why, despite winning fights for major promotions like Bellator and Strikeforce, he decided it was no longer feasible for him to compete in MMA.
“I think because when I came into it, I came into it with the wrong mind frame. “When I originally came into fighting, I came into it saying I want to do one fight. Then I won one fight, then another fight, and then another fight, and then all these things started getting thrown at me.”
Lashley, 45, expressed envy for Brock Lesnar, a fellow pro wrestler-turned-MMA star with whom he shared the ring at the WWE’s Royal Rumble event last Saturday who built a gym next to his home and flew people in to train with him so he could live the lifestyle he desired. Lashley lived in Denver during his fighting days and claims he didn’t have a full-time gym to call home. When Lashley realised he couldn’t improve his situation to the level he felt he needed to truly excel in fighting, he decided to call it quits.
“I was like, if I want to do this thing full time, get in the UFC and make a run or stay with Bellator and run for that title, I’ve got to put it all together and it was challenging. I didn’t find a way that I could do it and I didn’t want to take any time away from my kids, so I was kind of in an awkward situation.”
Lashley’s last fight was in 2016, and he finished his pro career with a 15-2 record, including a 5-0 record inside the Bellator cage. Lashley was able to compete for Bellator while also pursuing pro wrestling bookings as a result of their partnership. That flexibility would be impossible in the UFC, according to Lashley, who cites this as the primary reason he never made it to the octagon.