Friend of our site

MMA Headlines


Bleacher Report

MMA Fighting

MMA Torch

MMA Weekly

Sherdog (News)

Sherdog (Articles)

Liver Kick

MMA Mania

Bloody Elbow

MMA Ratings

Rating Fights

Yahoo MMA Blog

Search this site

Latest Articles

News Corner

MMA Rising

Audio Corner


MMA Dude Bro

Sherdog Radio

Eddie Goldman

Liver Kick Radio

Video Corner

Fight Hub

Special thanks to...

Link Rolodex

Site Index

To access our list of posting topics and archives, click here.

Friend of our site

Buy and sell MMA photos at MMA Prints

Site feedback

Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

« | Home | »

Better use of Bobby Lashley for Strikeforce – CBS Nashville show or E3 Expo in Los Angeles?

By Zach Arnold | April 29, 2010

Print Friendly and PDF

We all know about what a colossal disaster the Strikeforce show on 4/17 in Nashville was. It was a show that really hurt the company’s future with CBS down the road. Dana White went as far as to say that CBS is a tarnished brand and that he would keep UFC away from the network.

One of the major questions regarding the 4/17 Nashville event was why Bobby Lashley was not booked on the card. He was coming off of a squash win over Wes Sims on the January 30th card from South Florida. (This was the infamous show that featured Rex Ryan getting in trouble for flipping the bird.)

Lashley is considered by many to be one of Strikeforce’s rare “crossover” stars who can appeal to a lot of different type of fans due to his popularity from when he was in WWE. (The guy was involved in a hair-shaving angle with Vince McMahon and Donald Trump at Wrestlemania.)

In an interview with Mike Straka of HDNet, Lashley sat down with Mike and discussed why he made the move from WWE to MMA and what the similarities and differences are between the two industries.

“I love professional wrestling, but here it kinds of bring me back to my college wrestling days in training at the Olympic training center where you have to really sacrifice, you really have to pay your dues, you really have to get up in the morning, you have to do your cardio in the morning, you have to go and train, you have to humble yourself and learn different skills. The one thing that I do think that I took from WWE is the fact that I can go in an arena … and feel comfortable whether there are 1,000 fans there or 85,000 fans, I performed in front of crowds that big, I’m OK with that, I’m comfortable there. I actually can breathe in all that energy that the crowd’s giving me and actually use it to my benefit.”

We kept hearing rumors that Lashley would fight in Nashville but everyone kept getting strung along with “we can’t find an opponent” reports until it was announced that Lashley wouldn’t be fighting on Strikeforce’s critical network TV show card. Lashley had more star than virtually anyone that appeared on the televised portion of the Nashville card on CBS. The promotion really needed him but he wasn’t booked in the end.

Lashley has been taking heat for not fighting as often as his critics think he should be.

“I don’t know what [the critics] want out of me. I’m trying to do it the right way. A lot of times critics are you pulling you into doing things that you really shouldn’t be doing and if you want to have longevity in this career, in this business, you have to take your time and what I’m trying to do, I thought they would appreciate it a little bit more instead of me just coming out and saying, ‘OK, I should have a title shot now because I’m Bobby Lashley,’ as opposed to saying ‘OK, I want to take a step back and learn every aspect of the game and really go out there and showcase my skills’ and then when the time is right, when I have the level of beating you know some of your top guys like your Fedors, your Fabricio Werdums. When I’m at that level, then let’s do that fight.”

Now, Bobby Lashley is surfacing in Strikeforce for a June 16th event at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles to help promote the new EA Sports MMA game. I fully understand that the promotion wants to use Lashley and other Strikeforce names to do some cross-over marketing at the E3 Expo in LA. So, here’s the question we’re asking — what would have benefited Strikeforce more, Lashley on the CBS Nashville event to help boost the rating or Lashley appearing in Los Angeles to help boost the company’s profile for the EA Sports video game?

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, Zach Arnold | 20 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

20 Responses to “Better use of Bobby Lashley for Strikeforce – CBS Nashville show or E3 Expo in Los Angeles?”

  1. ULTMMA says:

    well I can tell you what EA Sports wanted.

    I guess you can follow that up with what’s more important for the long term health of SF? A good rating on CBS or a successful selling video game that features the majority of their roster.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    The video game has looked bad so far.

    Lashley wouldn’t have increased the CBS show much. He has little to no appeal, even to pro wrestling fans.

    SF is booking Lawler/Bablu at 195 pounds. Can Coker get any more obvious with his matchmaking? Guys who wantto leave his promotion…. He gets them no good fights at their natural weight and then gives them fights against naturally bigger guys for them to lose. He did this with Shields and now with Lawler. I bet this blows up in his face again. He is so afraid to test his talent like Lawler vs. Kennedy and see what happens….

    So it doesn’t shock me that he is doing such a bad job with any fighter….

    And Coker is now giving until mid-May to see if they come to terms with Fedor. This is all becoming a big joke now.

  3. Mark says:

    I don’t think Bobby Lashley is anything close to being a crossover star. Brock Lesnar captured the public’s imagination by being a guy who looks like what the Vince McMahonized version of a real Ultimate Fighter looks like and he’s just a naturally hateable human being. You want to pay to see him get his comeuppance.

    Bobby Lashley also looks like what the Vince McMahonized version of a real Ultimate Fighter looks like, but he has the personality of stale Wonderbread. And he’s shown me nothing that he’d ever be able to become an elite fighter. Lesnar immediately showed promise with his amazing takedowns and wrestling. Lashley looks like he’s going to need to be protected until you choose to expose him against Fedor, Overeem or Rogers. And if he went to the UFC I doubt he’d get past Rothwell and Nelson.

    I don’t think he would have helped the CBS show rating one bit. Only Fedor, Gina or Walker could have. Nobody even remembers the two wrestlers who fought for the honor of Donald Trump’s toupee at Wrestlemania 23. Not that Lesnar was a pro wrestling icon for the ages, but Lashley was barely a blip on the radar.

  4. robthom says:

    “… was why Bobby Lashley was not booked on the card.”

    I only guessing here, and have no evidence to support it. But maybe they were trying to put together an actual MMA show with actual legit MMA fighters instead of a glorified pro-wresting event with a bunch of pop icons playing MMA?

    Which apparently is a huge mistake if you want to be on a terrestrial network.

    Actual MMA does not seem to belong on mainstream television.

    If it takes Jose Conseco vs. Hershel Walker as the headliner to get “acceptable” ratings then I can live without that.

    Not very Japanese of me I know, but thats how I honestly feel about it.

  5. David M says:

    lol at 45 saying their game looks bad. Sometimes your Zuffa bias goes beyond the realm of feasibility.

    Strikeforce has really checkmated themselves. They bet it all on Fedor, and he basically fights for them only when he feels like it. He was their trump card; Strikeforce could point to Fedor and say “look, we have the best fighter in the whole fucking world, take us seriously and watch us.” Now they have washed-up UFC fighters and boring overrated Japanese fighters who nobody has ever heard of as their drawing cards. Fail.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      I am far from the only person who is saying the game looks like garbage so far. Did you see the videos they had for the CBS show? I heard multiple people compare it to N64 graphics. Over the last 2 months the thoughts on most message boards have gone from very excited to now just hoping it doesn’t completely stink.

      And for the record, I was looking forward to the EA MMA game. I will buy both if they each get good reviews.

      Lashley straight out ducked Del Rosario.

      That guy is the perfect opponent for somebody at his career level. Lashley is nothing but a headcase.

  6. Mr. Roadblock says:

    3 mllion people watch WWE every week no matter how bad it is. If a third of them tuned in to SF on CBS it would have been helpful.

    At the same time it looks like Lashley sucks at MMA and worseyet, he’s boring. That’s probably why he was left off. Him against Jose Canseco probably would have been a decent idea.

    SF really seems to be lost. What’s the plan for June? Run a show for EA on Showtime and then maybe run a show with Fedor the next week? Also Shields and Diaz are talking in the press about going to UFC. Those are the only legit champs besides Mlendez who you have to believe will follow his teammates. The thanks Comer gets for pushing those guys (in a bunch of gimme fights) is them bailing on him. Coker really got exposed as a dunce. Everyone thought he was smart for years giving away all those K1 shows for free to ESPN. He’s just a Japan mark who lives in a town that’s hot for MMA. He has no idea how o market and promote. He was lucky to sue Gary Shaw and get on he Shamrock/Baroni show. Back to the minors, Scott.

    • Mark says:

      The thing is the WWE fans don’t care about him. Just because he worked there doesn’t mean the fans are going to tune in. So even 1/3 of the 5 million who watch Raw isn’t likely. If being a pro wrestler who does MMA meant automatic success every wrestler ever would be begging UFC, Strikeforce and DREAM for work.

    • Steve says:

      “The thanks Comer gets for pushing those guys (in a bunch of gimme fights) is them bailing on him.”


      I can’t recall any of the Cesar Gracie guys getting ‘gimme fights’. Melendez has spent the past couple of years avenging old losses and smashing Aoki. Diaz jumped up a weight class to find more challenging fights and then fought the DREAM champ upon his return to WW. Shields also moved up to find better competition.

      Was their competition as strong as it would have been if they were in the UFC? Of course not. But they have been fighting the best guys that Strikeforce can put in front of them. Coker hasn’t been spoon feeding them victories at all.

  7. Fluyid says:

    Lashley doesn’t seem to have the charisma or whatever it is that connects with people. He’s no big draw.

    Strikeforce needs some sort of grand slam but I don’t know what it would be. Otherwise, I think it has started its fade out. Then again, that’s just a feeling I have and could be totally wrong.

    Maybe they need to find a Dana White lookalike and have Coker beat the shit out of him in between matches or something.

  8. Ivan Trembow says:

    I wish Lashley would have been asked how he managed to gain 30+ pounds of solid muscle in a very short period of time right after he arrived in WWE’s developmental promotion in Louisville…

  9. Ivan Trembow says:

    Regarding EA Sports MMA, this is what I wrote about it on my blog on the night of Strikeforce’s last CBS show:

    “Wow, the EA Sports MMA game looked awful in the pre-fight “Keys to Victory” segments. How did animations that choppy even get into the game in the first place? I’m guessing that EA Tiburon’s response would be that they still have months of development time left to polish the game, but as with any game, they shouldn’t be showing it off yet if it’s not ready to be shown off.”

    Granted, UFC 2009 Undisputed probably looked pretty choppy when it still had 6 months of development time left, but I’d be surprised if it looked like that.

    On a related note, I just got the “community exclusive” code to download the UFC 2010 Undisputed demo one week early, and based on everything that I’ve read about it, it’s going to be amazingly bad-ass. If Yuke’s put together such a great game for their first-generation use of the engine in UFC 2009 Undisputed, I can only imagine how good it’s going to be now that they’ve had 12 months to devote primarily to tweaking, balancing, improving, adding new fighters, adding new modes, etc. Yuke’s > EA Tiburon on any day of the week.

  10. robthom says:

    I thought the EA game looked 10x better than the THQ when they first released some of the early screen shots.

    But the screens I’ve seen recently dont look as nice as those first ones IMO.

    Maybe those first promo shots where either a little churched up or they turned out to not be so viable as actual game engine models.

    I dont think it looks worse than the THQ.
    They both look kinda crappy to me.

  11. Ivan Trembow says:

    There are screen shots, and then there is game footage. Both can be “faked” or artificially enhanced, but it’s much more difficult and time-consuming for a developer to fake in-game footage.

    EA Sports MMA looked great in screen shots. It’s when you see the game in motion that it starts to look like crap. They could have the best character models and textures in the world and it wouldn’t matter if the animations suck.

  12. Chuck says:

    EA fakes gameplay footage for their sports games all the time. Just check out this Penny Arcade strip;

    They fake it and make it look nice to get people excited, thinking “oh wow! This is the future of sports gaming!” and then the actual gameplay won’t be anything like that. Microsoft did the same thing for Natal at last year’s E3. And it seems like they are doing the same thing for Halo: Reach. Oh, and Sony did the same thing for Killzone 2 at the 2005 E3. I would have said it is the same thing that Ubisoft Montreal did for Splinter Cell: Conviction at last year’s E3, but the actual gameplay turned out to be as last year’s videos showed (including the interrogation of the guy in the bathroom. IMO those interrogations aren’t as cool and dynamic as we would have wanted them to be), so bravo to them.

  13. Ivan Trembow says:

    I’m certainly not disputing that gameplay footage can be faked; I’m just saying that it’s a lot easier and less time-consuming to fake screen shots.

    I think it’s pretty safe to say that the gameplay footage of EA Sports MMA that was shown during the Strikeforce broadcast on CBS was real footage, if for no other reason than because they wouldn’t have made fake footage look that awful or have animations that choppy.

  14. robthom says:

    The deal is that its kinda worth spending money to create FMV’s to get investment.

    Which in the end has no relation to the end product.

  15. Chuck says:

    Actually, as an addendum, Ubisoft did tweak Splinter Cell Conviction a bit for last year’s E3. They made the stage larger and more open-ended in the E3 footage than it turned out to be in the final product. Other than that, everything is as is. Gameplay, graphics, everything.


To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-spam image