If you haven’t heard, Bobby Lashley’s Strikeforce contract has expired. He’s currently in an exclusive negotiation period with the organization, but Dave Meltzer is hearing Strikeforce isn’t terribly interested in re-signing him after his loss to Chad Griggs.
If that’s the case, then who is Lashley supposedly fighting for in Dec.? Last night, he announced he has a fight lined up for Dec. 10 or 11, but didn’t say for who. Sherdog followed up with him to find out who the mystery organization is.
“I have to stay busy after my last fight. This year has been tough with the injuries I’ve had; plus I got mono. I’ve started back with my training and there have been a couple of fights come up that I’ve given a thumbs up to, and I’ve tentatively got a fight scheduled. It’s December 10th or 11th, but I have to wait on saying who it’s with. There’s two different organizations that I’m talking to. I have to get out there and fight. I asked Strikeforce for a rematch (with Griggs), but I’m not sure if it’s in the works.”
So wait, Bobby Lashley is in an exclusive negotiation period with Strikeforce, but he’s talking to other organizations and even tentatively lining up a fight? How does that happen? Well, I imagine it’s a pretty easy mistake to make when you don’t know what’s in your contract.
“I don’t really know what’s in my contract,” said Lashley, who has four finishes (two knockouts, two submissions) among his five professional MMA wins. “The last thing I want to do is do something to violate my contract. After my last fight, I owe it to Scott Coker and to the world to come back stronger.”
If Lashley doesn’t want to violate his contract, he might want to get on the same page with Strikeforce before he goes any further with this Dec. fight. Scott Coker says Lashley would need their approval to fight outside the organization while they still have exclusive negotiation rights.
“I haven’t heard anything about it and we don’t have an event [on Dec. 10-11],” said Coker. “Any kind of an announcement on Bobby’s part might be a bit premature. Bobby can take a fight in a smaller place or another promotion, but I think he’d need to get our approval first. We do let our fighters under contract fight for other organizations, but we have a lot invested in them and should have the right to approve where and when they fight.”
While many fans and writers would probably disagree, Coker thinks there’s still “a lot of fight left in Bobby.” The problem is Strikeforce and Lashley’s camp seem to have a difference of opinion on Lashley’s “value.” If they’re going to re-sign him, it sounds like Lashley will need to lower his asking price first.
Image via Esther Lin for Strikeforce/Showtime