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By: Jamie Penick, MMAtorch Editor-in-Chief
Bobby Lashley had been rumored for a preliminary card fight for Strikeforce's April 17th event on CBS, and it was expected that his fight would have been filmed to possibly air on the broadcast if time permitted, but he will no longer be a part of the event in Nashville.
Lashley posted an update on his Facebook page Sunday night, saying "Sorry for the delay in responding to all of you who are eager to see me fight again. I will not be on the Strikeforce card in April, but my training is going very well and I'm fully prepared to step into the cage when the time is right. I will let you know as soon as my next fight is set!"
Lashley's removal from the card is a mystery to him, as he told MMAJunkie.com that he wasn't sure why he was taken off the card. Said Lashley, "If Strikeforce had some reason why they pulled me, I'm not going to get upset with them.
"I'm disappointed that I'm not fighting, yes, because I wanted to fight. If I fought April 17, then I'd be able to plan my next one and maybe pick up another fight in June or in late May. But that's not the case."
Lashley is stuck at the moment between his desire to slowly build up his MMA career and the call from fans for him to face a higher level of competition. "It's the fans," Lashley said. "I'm not saying all the fans; (it's) the hardcore fans. They get on the forums and say, 'Bobby should be fighting Fedor.' But when Brock (Lesnar) got a title shot right away, they got pissed off about it. You can't please the critics regardless of what you do. So I'm just trying to fast track it a little bit more."
Should Lashley return in May, he'll join a stacked heavyweight card for Strikeforce St. Louis: Heavy Artillery. That card airs live on Showtime and features a Strikeforce Heavyweight Title bout between Alistair Overeem and Brett Rogers as well as the return of Andrei Arlovski as he takes on Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.
Penick's Analysis: This is the dilemma that Lashley faces in his career right now. There just aren't a lot of higher level guys in Strikeforce's heavyweight ranks that equal what his name value can bring, which is why people want to see him against a higher level of competition. The fight they should be looking at putting together is Lashley against Shane Del Rosario. Del Rosario picked up a big win on one of Strikeforce's Challengers events and would be a legitimate challenge for Lashley at this point in his young career. He may not like the calls for him to be fighting some bigger names and better competition at this point, but considering the promotional backing he'll receive from Strikeforce he'll need to be proving himself worthy of that attention against bigger and better fighters every time out.
RELATED STORY: Penick's detailed Strikeforce: Miami report with star ratings and analysis featuring Lashley's Strikeforce debut: [CLICK TO READ FULL ARTICLE]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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