Dave Bautista, better known as “Batista” by World Wrestling Entertainment fans, is looking to follow in the footsteps of Strikeforce heavyweight Bobby Lashley and UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar by crossing over from professional wrestling to mixed martial arts competition. Despite the fact that the 41-year old has no prior combat sports experience (whereas Lashley and Lesnar both had successful college wrestling careers), he told the DC 101 radio station that he is close to inking a deal with the Strikeforce promotion and that he is even eyeing a debut date. Props to MMAFighting for the find.
“We’re real close. We actually agreed on a number last week and we’re sorting stuff out,” Bautista said. “We should have a deal real soon. Hopefully I’ll be fighting in March.”
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has made mention on several occasions of his desire to promote a fight between Lashley and Bautista under the Strikeforce banner. Whether or not that will be Bautista’s first match (or if he ever has a first match, nothing is signed yet) in Strikeforce is unknown, but the sure-to-be heavyweight hopeful has few options in terms of opponents at his skill level currently residing in Strikeforce’s heavyweight division. Either way, Bautista maintains that he is ready for the difficulties that MMA will present, as his career in professional wrestling taught him a thing or two about taking lumps.
“The grind of professional wrestling, there is nothing is more brutal,” said Bautista. “I told my mom I wanted to get into fighting. She was scared to death. I said, ‘Mom, the last few years I was an inch away from breaking my neck every night and now you’re worried abut me being punched in the face?'”