After having his second scheduled fight with James Thompson fell through, Bellator heavyweight Bobby Lashley was able to pick up his sixth straight win with a second-round TKO of replacement Dan Charles in June.
Looking back on the win over Charles, Lashley told MMAWeekly.com that he feels he was able get over the late change of opponent and have a strong performance.
“It was a last-minute deal, so I feel I did exactly what needed to be done,” said Lashley. “Dan’s a tough kid. In his next fight he knocked a guy out, so you know he had that kind of power. I kept him under control, wore him out, beat him down and finished him.
“We had a whole different game plan, and then we get a whole other opponent, so it was a challenge, but we were able to adapt. Sometimes you’ve got to do what you do, and so you just jump in as best you can and make adjustments at the last minute.”
Lashley (13-2) will finally face Thompson (20-14) in a rematch of their 2012 bout at Bellator 145 on Friday night in St. Louis after multiple previous attempts to pair them up failed.
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Though he’s had much of the year to prepare for Thompson, Lashley doesn’t think the extra time has made much an impact on the game plan he’s had going in from the start.
“I don’t think it helped,” said Lashley. “We just kept going on with the same stuff we normally did. We know he’s going to come in big and try to work against the cage, so of course we’ve worked on things that’d be effective against him along with everything else.
“I’m a completely different fighter. This time I’ve been in training, I have goals set and I’ve been work on every aspect of my game, so this is going to be a completely different fight than before.”
Lashley is hoping a win on Friday will finally put the stamp on his time with Thompson and he can then move on to challenging for the Bellator heavyweight title, which hasn’t been defended in over a year.
“Of course everyone wants to get fight and get paid, but I think every heavyweight wants to see the title around their waist,” said Lashley. “You can’t see that title around your waist if there’s no title there. I think after every fight, every fighter is asking what’s next. At some point and time we need to get some answers there.”