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Former WWE star Bobby Lashley signs MMA deal with Maximum Fighting Championship

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Former WWE star Bobby Lashley has signed with the Edmonton-based Maximum Fighting Championship.

The six-foot-three, 265-pound Lashley (2-0) will make his MFC debut May 15 against Mike Cook (7-3) at MFC 21: Hard Knocks at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Enoch, Alta.

"Bobby Lashley is a phenomenal athlete and a very impressive fighter who wants to make a big name for himself in mixed martial arts," MFC president Mark Pavelich said in a statement. "He is a very exciting prospect and he will get a monumental opportunity to break into the spotlight at MFC 21."

Lashley won his mixed martial arts debut in December 2007, scored a 41-second TKO of Joshua Franklin. He won a unanimous decision victory over Jason Guida last month.

Lashley is a two-time NAIA college wrestling champion, and is apparently still interested in professional wrestling - he made an appearance at last weekend's Total Nonstop Wrestling "Lockdown" pay-per-view in Philadelphia.

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A TASTE OF FEDOR - Heavyweight star Fedor Emelianenko is returning to action, but only for a five-minute "sparring exhibition" with lightweight Shinya Aoki.

The two will put on a five-minute sparring exhibition during the M-1 Challenge mixed martial arts show Wednesday in Tokyo.

Emelianenko has not competed in Japan since submitting seven-foot-two Hong Man Choi in December 2007.

M-I said rules of the exhibition were still under discussion. Emelianenko should outweigh Aoki by some 80 pounds.

The M-1 Challenge show at Tokyo's Shinjuku Face is a 19-bout event featuring matchups between Japan and England, Team USA West and South Korea, and Spain and France.

Aoki, 20-4, is coming off a loss to Hayato Sakurai last month at Dream 8. Emelianenko (30-1 with one no contest) is coming off wins in Affliction over former UFC heavyweight champions Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia.

NOTES - Dan Henderson, Cung Le, Mauricio (Shogun) Rua, Matt Serra, Fedor Emelianenko and Gina Carano will feature in Series 4 of MMA action figures from Round 5. The Markham, Ont,. company says Series 4 will go on sale in July. Series 3, which includes Andrei Arlovski, (Big John) McCarthy, Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has been pushed back for release until late May.

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