WWE | Pro Wrestling

TNA Wrestling World Champion Returning to MMA Fighting

The TNA Wrestling world champion is going to fight. Bobby Lashley is returning to MMA. Lashley will be jumping back into the cage for Bellator in a rare MMA fight featuring a world champion from a top United States pro wrestling promotion.

The fight was announced earlier this week and will go down on September 5 and air live on Spike TV. Lashley is part of a beefed up lineup that will go head-to-head with a UFC event 10 miles away. Lashley will play a minor part in the show but could wind up as the biggest draw of the night due to his crossover appeal.

This is an interesting deal as I have seen and heard both arguments as to why it is a good and bad idea for TNA to have Lashley fighting. Those arguments are obvious. I am on the smart move side. I see this as a no-lose proposition. Just having your world champion in a real fight is a big coup for TNA. What do they lose if Lashley looks bad anyway? TNA is in one of its worst states so Lashley losing won’t matter. I can’t see a fan in 2014 refusing to watch TNA because the world champion lost a fight. I can see Lashley getting TNA some good publicity and giving the title a much needed shot of legitimacy. Lashley could always blame some phantom injury on a loss if he loses badly and TNA fans wouldn’t know the difference.

Brock Lesnar is the most famous crossover pro wrestler/MMA fighter of our lifetime. Lesnar not only lost his last two fights, he was destroyed by Alistair Overeem in his final fight. Since returning to the WWE Lesnar continues to be a tremendous draw, maybe even the biggest depending on the criteria you use to assess that. I think Lashley will be just fine win or lose after September 5.

What is noteworthy is that Brock Lesnar will likely be WWE champion by the time Lashley fights. The two top pro wrestling promotions in the United States will have legitimate shooters as their world heavyweight champions. I can’t recall the last time that has happened. It is certainly a throwback to an era where that was a requirement for the world champions.

I have probably watched all of Lashley’s 12 fights. Lashley is 10-2. You have seen one Lashley fight you have seen them all. He tries to obliterate his opponent in the first round and comes out gassed in the second round. The longer the fight goes the more tired and vulnerable he gets. He has a good chance of winning this one, although it has been awhile since he has fought. Again I see this as a no-lose situation for everyone.

You have to wonder if a Lashley win would precipitate some kind of grandstand challenge from Lashley to Brock Lesnar for a fight. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what WWE does first before TNA can copy it.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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Welcome to the Camel Clutch Blog. The CCB was born in 2007 and features blogs from over 50 different writers. Articles from the Camel Clutch Blog have been featured by some of the world's most respected websites including; CNNSI.com, Foxsports.com, Yahoo News, Business Insider, MSNBC, NBCsports.com, and more.

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