Dave Bautista, better known as “Batista” by World Wrestling Entertainment fans, had stated over the past year since leaving WWE that he was looking to follow in the footsteps of Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar by crossing over from professional wrestling to MMA. However, the former multi-time WWE champion told TMZ.com that the deal with Strikeforce was “dead,” citing the UFC’s buyout of Strikeforce as the catalyst.
“[I’m] real disappointed,” said Batista. “UFC bought ’em out, [and] never said anything to me about it, and it’s dead in the water.”
Despite the fact that the 42-year old has no prior combat sports experience (whereas Lashley and Lesnar both had successful college wrestling careers), Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has stated on several occasions of his desire to promote a fight between Lashley and Bautista under the Strikeforce banner.
“I really had my heart set on Strikeforce and I thought we had a deal,” Batista continued. “We had a deal on the table and we were just trying to fix a few things, and the next thing I know they got bought out.”
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.