Undefeated heavyweight Bobby Lashley hopes to earn at shot at the Strikeforce title currently held by Alistair Overeem early next year, but the 5-0 former professional wrestler first needs to get past Chad Griggs at “Strikeforce: Houston” on Aug. 21.
During a Monday conference call to promote the Showtime-televised event, Lashley said Griggs should offer a good test, but that his recent training with Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier has shown he’s ready for top competition.
“I feel better than I’ve ever felt coming into a fight,” Lashley said. “This is just another one of those tests. I’m coming in bigger, better and faster than I ever have. I’m pretty confident coming into this fight. I think he’s right in line as an opponent for me. I don’t think anyone is thinking I should be fighting Fedor who has 30 wins under his belt. If this fight goes the way I hope it goes I’m going all the way to the top. I know what my abilities are.”
Lashley said he won’t take any time off after the upcoming bout and hopes to return to action quickly with hopes of earning a title shot early next year.
“Hopefully at the first part of next year,” Lashley said. “I don’t know when my next fight will be. That’s up to Scott Coker to decide. I’m not going to take any time off. I like to train and I want to stay conditioned. After this fight I just hope to keep training and get that title shot next year.”
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said Lashley could eventually earn a shot at the title, but just needs to focus on winning for now.
“I always think, ‘What is Bobby going to look like 18 months from now. Or a year from now.’ With his abilities and his size and strength I really think the sky is the limit,” Coke said. “But he has to get through Chad first on the 21st. That has to be the first thing on the top of his mind. We have five of the top heavyweights in the world now. And Bobby fits right into that. The good thing about it is if you keep winning, you will get your shot at a title. Bobby needs to just keep winning.”
The Strikeforce: Houston fight card is headlined by light heavyweight champ Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and also features Tim Kennedy vs. Ronaldo “JAcare” Souza for the vacant middleweight title.