Despite having no actual background in combat training, 41-year old professional wrestler Dave Batista is currently pursuing a career in mixed martial arts. Batista is hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow former pro-wrestler Bobby Lashley and join the Strikeforce promotion. Batista recently spoke with MMAPrime at the Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons II weigh-ins about his plans with Strikeforce and what skills he believes he possesses that will allow him to make a successful debut in MMA.
“Soon, I hope,” Batista said of when he would like to make his MMA debut. “[Strikeforce and I are] gonna talk about it again tonight. This’ll be, I think, our fourth time sitting down and actually talking about it. I’m actually out here just training with Cesar (Gracie) but we’re gonna take the opportunity to talk with Strikeforce and see if we can get something on paper.”
There have been professional wrestling converts who have made a successful transition to the sport of MMA: Lashley and UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar are the most shining examples. But Batista does not share the college wrestling experience that both Lashley and Lesnar carry into their bouts with them. Batista is still confident that he can make a splash as a heavyweight fighter though, and is looking forward to applying his physical talents in a new forum.
“I don’t think it’s the wrestling experience but I think I’ll bring the same tools,” Batista said. “The tools that made me do well at wrestling, my speed and agaility, my size and strength, are of course gonna help me out in this but it’s a totally different game. I think above all–and I’ve said it before–professional wrestlers are, if nothing else, durable and I’m as durable as they come. We’ll see how it goes man. I just want to toss my hat in the ring before I’m too far over the hill.”
No word yet on a possible debut date for the former professional wrestling star, or on whether or not he will actually join the Strikeforce promotion. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has mentioned on more than one occasion his interest in promoting a Lashley-Batista fight under the Strikeforce banner and so it seems only a matter of time before his signing with the promotion is announced.