(‘All right, Vince. Before we do this thing, you want the chamomile or the rosemary tea rinse? For an extra twenty bucks we can also throw some Just For Men in that bad boy, and that can be our little secret.’)
Bobby Lashley‘s status as MMA’s most famous can-crusher seems as though it won’t be immediately effected by signing on with Strikeforce, as much as we might have hoped for the opposite result. Strikeforce suffered a setback this week when trying to match Lashley up with MMA fighter and boxer Yohan Banks (2-1 in MMA, 2-3-3 in boxing). Strikeforce may have thought it sounded like a good idea to shove Banks in against a decorated wrestler and valued MMA prospect like Lashley, but the Florida State Boxing Commission disagreed. MMA Junkie reports that the bout was denied on the grounds that it was "not competitive," to which we assume Scott Coker responded, ‘No kidding.’
Instead, Five Ounces of Pain says Lashley will face Jimmy "The Titan" Ambriz (14-12-1) at Strikeforce: Miami on January 30. Ambriz is coming off a win over Chris "The Fireman" Clark (who is 7-30 in five years worth of competition) in August, and his career features a list of losses against notable opponents like Jeff Monson, Sergei Kharitonov, Josh Barnett, Chris Tuchscherer, and Scott Junk, among others. His biggest triumph was probably a TKO over Ruben Villareal, followed by a draw against Ron Waterman.
But hey, at least the guy has more total fights than Banks, so that qualifies him to be ground into a fine paste by Lashley, right?
It’s times like these when we have a great appreciation for the way the UFC handled Brock Lesnar‘s entrance into serious MMA competition. They didn’t go out and find a hapless opponent to give him an easy win. Instead they dropped him in with a former heavyweight champ (albeit one who had seen a considerable fall from grace since then) to find out what he was made of.
Now Lesnar has only one more MMA fight to his credit than Lashley does, but the difference between the level of competition they’ve faced is astounding. While Lesnar’s faced two former champs and one Pride veteran in his UFC tenure, Lashley has faced Jason Guida, Bob Sapp, and two other guys who have a combined record of 8-7 (and didn’t put up much of a fight, either).
You’d think that Strikeforce could do a little better than "Ultimate Chaos" when it comes to serious matchmaking for Lashley. You’d be wrong.