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Bobby Lashley Being Unfairly Criticized?

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Steve Cofield thinks so over at Cagewriter:

Lashley should take some of the blame for his level of opponents thus far with Strikeforce but doesn't much of it have to do with the limitation of promotion's? Plus as a fan, I doesn't bother me if Lashley has a few more mid-level fights before he has to face one of the organization's big four (Rogers, Overeem, Fedor or Fabricio Werdum). I think those of us who cover the sport need to take a step back every once and a while and take into account the views of the casual or non-MMA fan as well.

Is it the worst thing for Lashley to have two more building block fights? That's the way it normally works with 5-0 fighters. Strikeforce jumped the gun and signed him early so if it costs Strikeforce a little more on the front end, then tough luck.

Again as a fan, I'm interested in seeing him fight in May. I don't find it too difficult to put aside matchmaking politics to get amped about the next Lashley fight. 

I think the problem that most people(at least me) have with Lashley is that there has been no steady progression in terms of opposition since his MMA career started.  Here's what you have to look at:

-Lashley will be 34 years old this year

-Are you getting anything in return for the money you are paying him to beat up nobodies

-Is he fully committed to MMA?

This is where I disagree with Cofield.  Lashley hasn't even been fighting mid-level competition.  It doesn't do Strikeforce or Lashley any good to continue to give him guys that offer NOTHING in regards to the fight.  I mean did Wes Sims or Bob Sapp even come to fight in Lashley's last two outings? I'm not saying throw him in there with Fedor or any elite heavyweights, but he must face decent opposition and now is the time.  I've said it time and time again, Mike Whitehead or Mike Kyle would serve as good barometers to see where Lashley is as a fighter.

But Lashley doesn't want to do that due to fear of getting exposed.  He either wants to continue fighting cans or wants to fight the elite heavyweights.  I understand the reasoning perfectly.  If he gets smashed by Fedor, or other fighters like Werdum and Brett Rogers.  Then he can say he lost to a legitimate heavyweight.  Whereas, if he gets smashed by a mid-level heavyweight like Mike Kyle then it's a wrap for the Lashley hype train.