ROUNDTABLE (pt. 1): If Bobby Lashley went to UFC, who would be the appropriate first opponents for him, and how close is he to a Top 15 Hvt?

Photo credit Bellator supplied to MMATorch

If Bobby Lashley were to sign with UFC, play match-maker and name your top two choices that you think would make the most sense for him to face first. He doesn’t make our Top 15 Heavyweight Rankings. How close is he to making your top ten or top 15 list, and where is he coming up short?

CHRIS KING, MMATorch contributor

I would put Bobby Lashley at around No 25 if I were doing some amalgamation of Heavyweight Rankings, so from a competitive match up in the UFC I think Todd Duffee would make a lot of sense, although I think he would most likely get destroyed. If you just want to make him look good, it seems that Bigfoot Silva is now running on fumes so he should be able to come through that one and earn some more followers through the last bit of name recognition he has left.

NICK GRINUPS, MMATorch contributor

If Bobby Lashley were to sign with the UFC, I think there is no doubt in my mind you give him Roy Nelson. That would be a good way to introduce him to the top 15 in the UFC and also the sheer bodytype difference would be amazing to see. I don’t think he is that close of being in the top 15 in the world due to his lack of quantity of fights and also his lack of actual competition. I would like him to fight a high level Bellator guy before talking about him in the rankings. At this point he seems more of a ratings booster than an actual contender, even in Bellator.

MICHAEL HISCOE, MMATorch contributor

I’m actually surprised Bobby Lashley hasn’t seen much interest from UFC thus far. Yes, he’s older and, yes, I can understand UFC not wanting another pro wrestler heavyweight when Brock Lesnar was around, but Lashley is marketable and has proven he’s more than a fly-by-night mixed martial artist and I’m guessing he’d put aside his work with TNA Wrestling for a UFC contract. If Lashley does find himself in UFC, I would definitely start him with someone outside of the top 15 rankings. Two examples could be Marcin Tybura or Viktor Pesta. Neither are world beaters, but both are UFC tested so a win for Lashley would at least prove that he belongs and then he can be matched appropriately from there based on how he does. Both present different challenges with Tybura being a striker and Pesta a wrestler so either skillset can be tested.

It’s very hard to place Bobby Lashley in a list of top heavyweights because he isn’t fighting anyone who has ever been near such a list. Until he gets to UFC or if he starts tearing through guys convincingly each time out, he’s probably not going to make my top ten heavyweights. All we really have to go off of is the skills we can observe. We know he’s a good wrestler, but we also know that his striking is far below that of the top heavyweights and he also has a tendency to gas out in long fights. His wrestling alone, while important to winning fights, isn’t enough to rank him among the best in the world.

ROBERT VALLEJOS, MMATorch contributor

I would put Lashley against either Roy Nelson (given that the UFC has not made him disappear) or Travis Browne. Both of these fighters are high profile enough to make the fights interesting, without actually influencing the balance of the Heavyweight Division. Whomever Lashley would fight, I would make sure that it was on a Fight Night card. Lashley is an outside star, but he is nowhere near the draw that a Brock Lesnar or even a C.M. Punk is. With that said, Lashley in the UFC could help pop a television rating by attracting the casual channel flipper.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS ROUNDTABLE: Should UFC have a “five strikes and you’re out” rule when fighters miss weight over and over, such as John Lineker

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