Morning News and Notes: Lashley Debut Set, Burkman Injured & More


Bobby Lashley. Photo courtesy of American Top Team.

— Former WWE star Bobby Lashley will soon join Brock Lesnar in the professional ranks of mixed martial arts. Lashley has reportedly signed on to make his pro debut against fellow newcomer Joshua Franklin at the Mixed Fighting Alliance’s scheduled December 13 event in Miami. The card will be headlined by a rematch between UFC veterans Ricco Rodriguez and Jeff Monson. Rodriguez stopped Monson via third-round TKO in the first meeting at UFC 35 in January 2002.

— UFC welterweight Josh Burkman will be sidelined indefinitely while attempting to heal two bulging discs in his back and another bulging disc in his neck. Burkman, who has attributed his current three-fight losing streak partially to the injury, says that he will first try to heal the injury via physical therapy before potentially undergoing surgery, which is similar to what Nate Quarry and Tito Ortiz have recently had, to repair the injury.

— Following the demise of ProElite, Cage Rage has changed it’s promotional name to Ultimate Challenge UK. The new-labeled organization will put on it’s first show on December 6 in England with James Mc Sweeny vs Neil Grove and Tom Watson vs Matt Ewin co-headlining the card. In a press release sent out this week, Ultimate Challenge UK director Dave O’Donnell stated: “We are no longer affiliated with Cage Rage or EliteXC and have made the decision to (start) Ultimate Challenge UK to ensure we retain complete control of our future.”

— Longtime Chute Boxe instructor Osmar Dias was pronounced dead on Tuesday after being shot three times while leaving Brazil’s Chute Boxe Academy in the early morning. According to a Sherdog.com report, very little details are currently known behind the attack on Dias at the moment. Dias trained a slew of successful fighters during his time with the Chute Boxe team, including Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio “Shogun” and Murilo “Ninja” Rua, and Fabricio Werdum.

— World Extreme Cagefighting has released part of the fight card for its scheduled December 5 event in Las Vegas. Along with the WEC bantamweight title bout between Miguel Torres and Manny Tapia, bantamweight contenders Brian Bowles and Will Ribeiro will square off, top-ranked featherweights Waggney Fabiano and Akitoshi Tamura will collide and Josh Grispi will take on Diego Nunes.

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