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It's Time For Bobby Lashley To Fight Stiffer Competition

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We as fans can learn a great deal about young fighters when they participate in meaningful fights as they progress in their career.  We are less than two weeks out from the Strikeforce: "Miami" card and Bobby Lashley(4-0) has yet to have an opponent finalized.  He was once rumored to face Shane Del Rosario(9-0), and the latest news is that he could face Jimmy Ambriz(14-12).  I can understand Strikeforce deciding against Lashley/Rosario because that eliminates one of your up and comer's so to speak in a relatively thin division.

I do realize that Lashley is no Brock Lesnar or Cain Velasquez.  However, I'll use Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, and Shane Carwin for comparison since they all have ties with wrestling at a high level in college. 

-After having a gimmie fight against Min-Soo Kim, Lesnar took on Frank Mir and loss inside of two minutes.  In his very next fight, he took on a veteran of some 40 professional MMA fights in Heath Herring.  We learned more about what Lesnar could and couldn't do in that unanimous decision win than we did in the first two fights against Kim and Mir.

-Cain Velasquez burst into the UFC after just 2 fights and then took on Jake O'Brien in his fourth fight overall.  O'Brien wasn't a world beater but he did have a couple of wins over credible opponents.  Velasquez then went on to face veterans Cheick Kongo and Ben Rothewell, winning both of those fights.  Now he'll be facing MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 110 in the main event.

-Shane Carwin is probably the most similar to Bobby Lashley due to cage experience and age.  Carwin's never been out of the first round in any of his fights, and the UFC decided to match him up with former top ten HW Gabriel Gonzaga in his 11th fight.  It's a fight that Carwin could have very well lost, but we could have potentially learned a lot more about him since he faced a credible opponent.  He got Gonzaga out of there in the first round as well, which proved that he's capable of beating quality opposition.

As you can see all three of these guys came in and fought relatively credible opposition shortly after making their MMA debuts.  It's common knowledge that collegiate wrestling at a high level transitions to success in MMA more times that not.  Granted, it was a long time ago for Lashley, but you don't forget those techniques overnight when you've done them your whole life. 

The fact of the matter is Bobby Lashley is no spring chicken as he'll be 34 years old in July.  Couple his age with all of the wear and tear he has taken on the WWE circuit, as well as his college wrestling days, and that's quite a bit of mileage.  Will he be worth the salary that Strikeforce will pay him to fight guys that will not force him to elevate his game?  At some point, they are going to have to take a risk with him losing against a credible opponent.  Why not take the risk now and get an accurate gauge of where his overall skillset is instead of giving him fights he should win fairly easily? Instead of spending all that money promoting him to fight guys with no real benefits if he wins?  If he loses badly then it gives Strikeforce some direction in knowing exactly what he brings to the table.  If he does wind up fighting and defeating Jimmy Ambriz, what does that accomplish?