“Bobby comes from a tremendous wrestling pedigree, but to be a well-rounded fighter, you also have to have great stand-up, great jiu jitsu and great jiu-jitsu defense. So, we want to make sure that when Bobby starts to go after the top-10 caliber fighters that, he is ready in every aspect for any situation. That’s why we didn’t just throw him into the deep end of the pool…With every fight, he’s improving. We watch the film of the fights. We fix the holes. We work diligently on the things that need to get fixed. With each step, we’re trying to gradually move him up. We want to have his ascension be plotted very carefully, very wisely…We have had some preliminary discussions with them, but with Bobby, we want to make sure that if we are going to put him in a long-term situation that it’s something that is going to benefit his growth and progress as a fighter. We want to make sure that when we do take that step to the upper echelon of fighters for the bigger deals that we are ready to go after the belt in a very short time…It’s been my belief from square one that he can be represented by companies outside of MMA…A lot of the bigger companies that we’re working with are starting to take an interest. As he gets better, as he grows and as his spotlight gets bigger, I believe he has the possibilities to draw in the Nikes, the American Expresses and the bigger Fortune 500 companies to stand behind him.”
—Bobby Lashley’s manager, Greg Bloom, explaining to MMA Junkie why Bobby Lashley is being brought up through the MMA ranks at a much slower pace than Brock Lesnar.
You know, the funny part about all the Lesnar-Lashley comparisons is people complain that Brock didn’t deserve a shot at the UFC heavyweight title and was thrust into the spotlight on the sport’s biggest stage far too early in his career, yet people also complain that Bobby, who’s just as a green, isn’t fighting the world’s elite heavyweights in a major promotion yet. I guess it’s just another example that you can’t please everyone.
Personally, I take my hat off to Bloom and Lashley. I think they’re taking a very wise approach to the development of Bobby’s career that should pay dividends down the road.
Image via CombatLifestyle.com