The American Fight League has signed former WWE wrestling star Bobby Lashley to a multi-fight contract, demarking the beginning of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career. The official announcement was made in front of a full crowd in Atlanta during the AFL: BulletProof event held at Philips Arena on Friday, May 30.
Since announcing his exit from professional wrestling there have been murmurs that the goliath-like Bobby Lashley would be making a move into MMA. Long anticipated and much speculated, the signing of Bobby Lashley to fight in the American Fight League will finally put all the rumors to rest. Bobbyâ€™s entrance into the cage is sure to bring a new level of excitement to the MMA world as he competes in the heavyweight division, one known for its hard hitting brawlers and dramatic knock downs.
â€œIâ€™ve been looking to switch to MMA for quite some time but wanted to make sure the move was with the right organization. It wasnâ€™t until I started talking with the American Fight League that I found where I wanted to begin the next chapter in my career,â€ said Lashley. â€œI love the AFLâ€™s vision. They arenâ€™t interested in running a circus but rather want to produce quality MMA events with legitimate athletes. The more I spoke with BJ Santiago and Jon Hatton, the more I knew that the AFL would be the best outlet for me to show the world what I can do in the ring. I think we are going to be a great fit, and I am excited about my first fight.â€
American Fight League CEO BJ Santiago could not be more pleased with the Lashley signing. â€œThereâ€™s no question that this is an enormous signing for the AFL,â€ said Santiago. â€œBringing athletes like Bobby Lashley on board shows the world that we are very serious about signing top talent to our roster.â€ Santiago added, â€œBobby is an incredible competitor with a lot of star power and charisma. Fans love him. I believe he will be a great ambassador for the AFL and the sport of mixed martial arts.â€
Joining the AFL will mark Lashleyâ€™s entrance into the sport of competitive MMA. With a long history in competitive wrestling, MMA is a natural progression for the championship level athlete. He attended Missouri Valley College where he was a three-time National Amateur Wrestling Champion and four-time All-American. Lashley went on to join the United States Army where he continued to wrestle and was a two-time Armed Forces Champion and a 2002 Silver Medalist at the Military World Championships.
In November 2003, Lashley began a career with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) where he stayed until early 2008. Lashleyâ€™s athleticism, magnetic personality and commanding presence quickly placed him as one of the WWEâ€™s most popular wrestlers, garnering him a loyal worldwide fan base. He defeated numerous wrestling stars and earned two pro wrestling heavyweight titles.