After years of splitting time between fighting and his pro wrestling careers, heavyweight Bobby Lashley has been able to find a balance of late since joining Bellator and in turn has had some of his strongest performances to date.
Two wins in his first two bouts with Bellator, Lashley has managed to finish both his opponents and is feeling stronger than he ever has before.
“I was travelling here, travelling there, training at different places and it was hard going all over the place trying to get the right training in at the right time,” Lashley told MMAWeekly.com. “It was pretty complicated, but now it’s different because I can focus on everything more.
“TNA is working with my fighting tremendously and are more supportive than anything else because they want to see me fight and succeed. The schedule is a lot lighter, so I have more time to travel, train and do what I need to do to fight. Everything is just coming together really well.”
The change in his game is very apparent to not only Lashley, but also to those around him, and now he’s a more confident fighter for it.
“I can tell a huge difference and my training partners can also,” he said. “When I first went into it, I knew I could fall back on my wrestling and take (my opponent) down and just slow things down, but now I don’t feel like I need to go anywhere – I can do whatever I want – and that’s different.
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“Before, I needed to go to certain places just to be comfortable, but now if we want to stand, we’ll stand, because I feel great wherever we go. It’s whatever I want to do.”
Following an injury to his original opponent, Lashley (12-2) will now face Dan Charles (9-2) at Bellator 138 on Friday in St. Louis.
“If there’s a prediction: Maybe take him down and ground and pound him, my submission game is really good right now, but I’m also not opposed to standing up with him and knocking him out on the feet,” said Lashley. “There’s multiple ways I can win it.”
Lashley is looking to keep his recent momentum going in 2015 and eventually work his way towards a championship match.
“My first two fights, I went out there smiling, felt comfortable and had a great time, so I just want to keep that going,” he said. “If I can do that, it’s going let the other heavyweights watching and (Scott) Coker … know that I’m serious contender here.
“The heavyweight division is wide-open right now, so getting a win here will give me an opportunity to take a huge step forward, help me figure out who I’m fighting next and take me one step closer to that title.”