According to Titan officials, Lashley will square off against M-1 Challenge veteran James Jack in the show’s main event. Titan FC 17 will emanate from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., and will also feature a middleweight tilt pitting former UFC and Strikeforce contender Phil Baroni against Bellator veteran Nick Nolte.
Lashley has not competed since suffering the first defeat of his career to current Strikeforce heavyweight Chad Griggs in August. After using his superior wrestling to dictate the fight through the first two frames, the hulking heavyweight succumbed to fatigue and could not come out for the third round.
“In the fight game, a fighter is usually viewed as only being good as their last fight, but I don’t think that is a fair way to evaluate a fighter, especially an athletically gifted heavyweight who is only six fights into his career,” Titan CEO Joe Kelly said in a release. “Bobby won’t admit it, and he refuses to make excuses, but the reality is that he was diagnosed with mononucleosis shortly after the fight. Also, Griggs is the real deal. Anyone who is writing Bobby off is making a huge mistake.”
Lashley began his career in 2008, rattling off five straight victories to start his pro campaign. After making a successful Maximum Fighting Championship debut against Mike Cook in 2009, he bested former Pride Fighting Championships staple Bob Sapp before stepping into the Strikeforce cage for the first time against UFC veteran Wes Sims at Strikeforce “Miami.” After earning another first-round technical knockout over Sims, Lashley ran into Griggs at Strikeforce “Houston” six months later.
Jack has gone 2-2 in his last four outings. He made his M-1 debut at M-1 Challenge 5 in 2008, submitting to a first-round keylock. Jack returned to the M-1 ring later that year at M-1 Challenge 7, losing by first-round TKO to Kirill Sidelnikov. Jack owns three of his five career victories by knockout and is coming off a June decision loss at a C3 Fights event in Oklahoma.