When you bring up the prospect of a Bobby Lashley-Dave Batista fight, most fans have some moderate interest. Eyes don't light up like you're proposing a Chael Sonnen-Anderson Silva rematch, but there is something cool about two giant Brahma bulls colliding in the middle of the cage. But to Strikeforce President Scott Coker, this fight is like his personal Anderson Silva-GSP. It's a fight he wants to make desperately, but two men stand in the way-Bobby Lashley and Dave Batista. MMA Torch Editor Jamie Penick explains:
Lashley is interested in the fight, but he's leaving only a small opening for them to put it together before he'll pass on the fight altogether. He's open to it, but he wants to step up against bigger names sooner rather than later. For Lashley, if Batista wants the fight, than he has "a small window. October not January."
Batista, who has been training with the Cesar Gracie crew in San Jose, isn't opposed to the idea either. But he's an entrepreneur. Unlike others who want to grow as athletes or build a career in the sport, Batista is in it for the money, pure and simple. He knows his career won't last long and he's looking to cash in immediately. Sources close to the negotiations tell the Torch that Batista is asking for upwards of $500,000 for a single high profile fight. Penick thinks the money isn't worth it:
So while Batista tries to squeeze out as much as he can from Strikeforce for as little value as he's bringing to the table, Scott Coker seems to remain the only one who actually wants to see this fight. Lashley really has no reason to take this fight if the sport and the competition are what he's after. And hopefully he'll stick to his guns and demand someone else if Strikeforce doesn't sign Batista before October.
I tend to disagree with Penick here. He's right that athletically, Batista brings very little into the cage. Sure he's got big, veiny, lean muscle. Lots of it. But can he use it effectively? Probably not. Can he use it effectively to move ratings on CBS? Probably so. And with Strikeforce looking to justify future appearances on the Tiffany network, ratings are the name of the game.