When Bobby Lashley made the switch from pro wrestling to mixed martial arts, he was good-natured about the obvious jokes about pulled punches and scripts.
But at some point, Lashley got tired of the routine. Mike Cook failed to get the memo and got the message the hard way, being choked completely out with a guillotine in only 24 seconds in the former three-time NAIA wrestling champion and World Wrestling Entertainment star's third pro MMA fight on Friday night.
Cook (7-4) came to Thursday's weigh-ins for the Maximum Fighting Championship show in Edmonton, Alberta, wearing a mask of Lashley's former cohort Rey Mysterio in an attempt to mock Lashley, and Cook made the statement that Lashley would defecate in his pants when he got hit with a real punch.
Perhaps Cook, a heavyweight out of Frank Shamrock's camp, should have known better because he had a 2006 defeat against another former pro wrestler, Daniel Puder, and his coach also has dabbled in pro wrestling in Japan.
Lashley, now significantly smaller than in his pro wrestling days and slightly lighter than in his two previous bouts, took the calm approach. He refused to touch gloves, and like an amateur wrestler, he grabbed a front headlock and sprawled.
When they got to the ground, he quickly turned it into a guillotine, and it was only seconds later that Cook passed out, causing ref John McCarthy to stop the match.
"I just yanked him down and got the vice grip on him and squeezed and felt him go out," Lashley said.
Lashley (3-0) seemingly atoned for a lackluster performance in his previous fight, a three-round decision over journeyman Jason Guida in which he almost was finished with a guillotine in Round 3 by a late replacement who usually fights at light heavyweight.
"I'm here for business," said Lashley, who is billed at 6-foot-3 but was slightly shorter than the 6-2 Cook. "I'm here and everyone wants to and tries to make fun of the wrestling thing. I'm real. If they want to play around, I'll knock them out or choke them out. And that's what I did. I choked him out and made him pay. Now he can go put the mask back on and have fun with himself."
Lashley faces 6-foot-4, 345-pound Bob Sapp (10-3-1) in his next fight June 27 on a pay-per-view show from Biloxi, Miss. Sapp has gone into seclusion in the mountains in Japan training at a judo facility. Sapp competes May 26 at the Yokohama Arena in Japan as part of the same freak show tournament that Jose Canseco is in.
"I'm going to keep the competition going and keep the fights going," Lashley said.