Former pro wrestling superstar Bobby Lashley
may have had a career setback in his loss to Chad Griggs
in Strikeforce last month, but his MMA career is nowhere near done, he said.
"I'm fighting again [in 2010] for sure...in November at the latest," Lashley told Ariel Helwani on Monday's episode of "The MMA Hour."
As for who he'd like to face in his return to action, Lashley indicated that he wants a rematch with Griggs, who beat him via referee stoppage at the end of the second round
in Houston, Texas on August 21. Lashley said he's already asked Strikeforce for the fight, and explained that due to several health issues going into the fight he wasn't able to perform at his best.
"I already asked for a rematch, because when you have certain events like I did that sort of hindered me from being able to open up and fight, I've got to go back," Lashley said. "I'd hate for them to use that fight to boost somebody's career, saying, 'Okay, he beat Bobby,' because that wasn't really the case. If I didn't have these problems, and I'd been able to go out there and fight, I think it would have been a pretty quick win for me. But I just didn't have anything in me."
Lashley said he was not only taken to the hospital for dehydration after the fight, but had also been treated with an IV at an urgent care center two days before the fight.
"When I went to the hospital afterwards, they said I was really dehydrated. I went to hospital on Thursday before the fight because I wasn't feeling very good. I was just sluggish and not feeling good, so I went to urgent care and got checked out. I thought I was going to be okay. We didn't do any blood work, but they gave me an IV because they said I was a little dehydrated then and when I went in there and fought I didn't have anything in me."
Lashley also said that he had mononucleosis going into the fight, and afterward had a round of blood work done to find out why he was so sluggish in the fight with Griggs.
Though Lashley appeared to start strong in the fight, easily taking Griggs down and controlling him on the mat for most of the first round, despite suffering a cut near his eye, he noted that "even from the first takedown I felt like there was a problem."
In the second round his fatigue was painfully obvious, but he still managed to get Griggs down and achieve full mount. After a couple minutes in that dominant position, however, referee Jon Schorle called for a stand-up with about a minute left in the round.
"I didn't even know what was going on there. Because when he called me back up he was like, 'Let's check out that cut.' ...Then we checked out the cut...and then he stood us up. I was in full mount, and as far as a position of advantage I don't think you can get a better advantage than full mount. That's not my decision."
After the restart, an exhausted Lashley lunged in for a failed takedown attempt and ended the round on his knees, being hammered by strikes from Griggs. Lashley was able to walk out of the cage under his own power after the fight was stopped, but was later put on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital.
Far from being discouraged by the loss, Lashley said suffering his first defeat has actually taken much of the pressure off him.
"Ever since I got into the fight game I've had people badmouthing me...and all that stuff got into my head. ...Now, after that fight was a real eye-opener. I didn't go in there at 100% and now everyone was like, 'This is what we wanted; we wanted to see him get beat.' So now, I really don't care. I'm going out there to fight and I'm not worried about any critics, any this or that, I'm not worried about any of that anymore."
Lashley said he believes that Strikeforce is waiting for news of his blood test results before deciding on a potential rematch with Griggs, but in the meantime there is a "possibility" that Lashley might do some pro wrestling in Japan, perhaps opposite new Strikeforce acquisition and longtime pro wrestler Josh Barnett
As for where his MMA career is headed, Lashley said the loss will only make it easier for him to adopt a more aggressive style in future bouts.
"Now I'm just going to go out there and fight. I'm not going to have any pressure on me. If they want to keep that as a loss, then keep that as a loss so I have a loss, because now I'm just going to go out there and fight. Because once you have a loss, you're not undefeated anymore so now I don't have to worry about that. So I can just go out there and fight."