This fight is gaining buzz around the web because of its one-sidedness and the embarrassment of the loser in his mocking ways that led to his destruction. Mike “The Animal” Cook clearly didn’t take his opponent, Bobby Lashley, serious in any way, shape or form. Otherwise, why would he come to the ring in a Rey Mysterio mask and make several gestures that a professional wrestler would? Apparently, like Jason Guida before him, Cook did minimal research on Lashley’s experience. The former WWE champion was a national champion in wrestling before he took to the squared circle, but of course he needs to literally fight for respect due to wrestling’s image as “fake” or some kind of circus.
Cook says in the snippet before his entrance: “I know he was on TV as a wrestler, that’s fine…He will shit his pants once he gets here.” Cook was confident enough to say that not only he will win, but will win in one of several different ways: submission, submission through punches, or knockout. The well-spoken Lashley acknowledged how important this fight, and every fight, were to his career in Mixed Martial Arts, and he pulls no punches- literally- in his approach to this fight.
The bout doesn’t even begin until about the 9:12 mark of the video, but Cook’s video and entrance are worth watching as build-up to the humbling he’s about to receive. What should have been an ominous moment for Cook comes when Lashley refuses to touch gloves, but Cook seems to shrug it off.
Lashley gets a quick strike in that doesn’t quite connect, but allows him to latch onto Cook’s neck for a guillotine choke. You can notice Cook’s legs writhing and consciousness dwindling, and eventually the referee stops the fight. Lashley defeated Cook via knockout in about 24 seconds, and simultaneously silenced many of his critics. It may still take a few more fights, but Lashley deserves to be taken seriously as an MMA competitor right now.
This press conference video is burning up the charts on Youtube today, of MMA fighters Bobby Lashley and Jason Guida. Lashley, a former professional wrestler for Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment, was a last-minute replacement for the bout against the veteran Guida after Ken Shamrock was suspended for a positive steroid test. The match will take place this Saturday on pay-per-view.
Guida doesn’t seem to know much about his opponent or his former profession. He sounds like one of those guys who dismisses pro wrestling as completely “fake” and lacks respect for anyone who takes part in that business. Here’s a snippet of some recent comments from Guida regarding his last-minute opponent:
“MMA is new to Bobby. I don’t have anything against him. Someday he will be good for MMA. I will welcome him after I beat him to work at my club and learn how to fight. Lashley is going to find out that this is MMA and not WWE. He’s in for a rude awakening…I wish him the best, because beating him will look even better if he goes on to be successful in MMA.”
Lashley read this to the press members in the audience before saying, “I hope he can back up what he says, because I have a reason to fight now.” Soon, the obligatory face-off/ photo-op took place, where Guida didn’t hesitate to talk more trash to Lashley, antagonizing him by repeatedly asking “How long you been faking it?” It’s surprising for a veteran fighter like Guida to show such a blatant lack of disrespect and overconfidence toward his opponent, especially considering he has lost 5 of his last 7 matches. It just doesn’t seem to make much sense for him to light a fire under the younger, bigger and stronger Lashley.
While minimally experienced in MMA, Lashley is not just a performer with muscles like Guida seems to believe. He is a very accomplished amateur wrestler, having won three straight national titles from 1996-1999 at Missouri Valley College and was the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Champion in 1998. He also served some time in the U.S. Army and wrestled there.
So while he may have only had one fight in MMA so far, Lashley is not someone who came straight from the Vince McMahon school of athletic competition. Guida seems to think he’s been faking all along. No, pro wrestlers are not trying to hurt each other in their performances, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t risking injury like MMA fighters do. I would love to see Guida train as much as Lashley did for WWE and work as much as those guys do, then come back and tell me how “fake” their business really is. Hey, he seems to have a future in it by the amount of promos he’s been cutting on Lashley recently!