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Bobby Lashley juggling more than last-minute MMA fights and pro wrestling matches

With it being a few weeks before his 37th birthday, Bobby Lashley, who once looked to be on the verge of superstardom in pro wrestling and later a top attraction in MMA, is someone whose greatest advantages turned out in hindsight to be his biggest handicap. At first, Lashley’s freaky physique was his calling card, which led to him being rushed to the top of the pro wrestling world. Then, when he left pro wrestling for MMA. Because of his pro wrestling fame, amateur background and the way he looked, promoters wanted to immediately cash in on his name recognition as a World Wrestling Entertainment star, when he was really just a novice fighter. Four-and-a-half years later, Lashley (8-2) faces Matthew Larson (2-2) on this weekend’s only MMA pay-per-view event, a Saturday night show called Global Warrior Challenge from the Sprint Center in Kansas City. He just agreed to the fight on Sunday, and got his opponent a few days later. Of late, he’s continued to dabble in both pro wrestling and MMA, along with being a full-time father, helping troubled kids in his area, and running his gym. Right now, he’s looking at a goal to remake himself as a 205-pound fighter, even though he admits he’ll probably be coming in at closer to 245 pounds for his fight this weekend. Right now I’m trying to do some soul searching, Lashley said. My passion has always been wrestling. But fighting is paying the bills. I want to feel comfortable in the ring like I do in the gym. I think the best thing to do is go to 205 pounds. I can make it down there. I’ll be quicker, faster and I’ll have more energy down there. Lashley was an Olympic hopeful in Greco-Roman wrestling for the 2004 Olympics. After suffering a knee injury in dropping to the ground while he was at a bank that was being robbed, the injury eliminated any chance to make the team. At the time, he wrestled at 211.5 pounds, and thus, has experience in weight-cutting, feeling if he eat healthier and did more cardio, he can get down to 230. At that weight, he feels he can cut to 205 and fight back at 230. Lashley captured the NAIA wrestling championship in 1996, 1997 and 1998 at Missouri Valley College. His athletic ability, combined with his crazy genetics, gigantic biceps, shoulders and just about everything else made him a great prospect as a pro wrestler. Even in the world of steroid freaks that pro wrestling sometimes was, nobody had ever seen anyone who looked quite that muscular carrying that kind of size, who was actually athletic as well. Brock Lesnar, who Lashley was often compared to in pro wrestling, was even larger, but couldn’t come close to Lashley’s Hercules comic-book look. That all sounds great, and it opened doors that he otherwise could have never gotten in. But the problem was, he had never done pro wrestling. He was starting from ground zero in late 2004 in Louisville, ironically the same camp where current Bellator fighter King Mo Lawal has been trains. Those running Ohio Valley…

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