Bobby Lashley gets new opponent for 'Unfinished Business' next Friday in St. Louis

Bobby Lashley says UFC offered him deal, but he had to stop wrestling

WWE champion and former professional mixed martial artist Bobby Lashley, 45, says that he was in talks with to sign a deal with the UFC, but that things just didn’t work out because of a clause that would prevent him from participating in professional wrestling.

In speaking with Ariel Helwani on MMA Fighting’s ‘The MMA Hour’, Lashley discussed how American Top Team owner Dan Lambert conducted the discussion with UFC President Dana White.

“I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I know that Dan had talked with Dana at one time and Dana he was fair with it, he said, ‘You know we can’t offer him a huge contract, but we will give him something that he can get his foot in the door and kind of prove himself,’” Lashley said. “That’s all I knew and then when I talked with Dan about it — Dan’s a huge pro wrestling fan — Dan was like, ‘They want you to sign everything. There’s no more pro wrestling. Are you ready to shut the doors on pro wrestling?’ I was like, ‘Golly.’ You can’t offer me a contract and say, ‘Yeah we bring him in, but he needs to shut all of that down and get small money.’ Because the wrestling is something that I knew that I could really make some good money on long term. So I couldn’t take a small contract to prove myself where I had pro wrestling where I’d already proven myself and that was always my money bag that I could always go back to. So I really couldn’t do it.”

“Everything was left up in the air for me with Coker and I wish I could have done that with Dana, but I understand that you can’t do that in the UFC,” Lashley added. “He’s not gonna let anybody have that part-time, do-whatever-you-want kind of contract and that’s what I needed and that’s what he wasn’t willing to give.”

Lashley amassed a pro MMA record of 15-2 since his start in 2008. He has fought for Bellator MMA, Strikeforce, Titan FC, and several other regional promotions before leaving the sport in 2016. During his run in Bellator MMA, “The Dominator” Lashley went undefeated at 5-0.

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