Dave Batista, real name David Michael Bautista Jr., was a 6-time world heavyweight champion as a professional wrestler in the WWE. Batista's contract with the WWE recently expired, and he has now told TMZ that he will soon be making his MMA debut for Strikeforce.
UPDATE: Luke Thomas of Bloody Elbow, via his MMANation Twitter, reported the following quote from Strikeforce -- "The report is not correct. Batista is not signed." Additionally, the MMAjunkie talked to Strikeforce spokesperson Mike Afromowitz and wrote this:
Afromowitz declined to comment on anything beyond the denial of a signed deal. But additional sources told MMAjunkie.com officials have had informal talks with Bautista and may eventually offer a contract.It looks like Dave Batista wants to attempt to follow in the footsteps of UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and Strikeforce's Bobby Lashley, both who made successful transitions from pro wrestling to MMA. Lesnar and Lashley were both successful collegiate wrestlers, though, while Batista has a bodybuilding background and is 41 years old. Nevertheless, assuming Batista isn't just angling for a Strikeforce contract by saying this, he might just be making his
Strikeforce debut later this year in the heavyweight division, but it won't be against Fedor Emelianenko, who Batista says he wants no part of.
It has been rumored Dave Batista would be fighting in an exhibition MMA bout for charity. It looks like he may have expanded upon that idea once he started training, and now wants to compete on a professional level. Surely MMA message boards will be on fire today with some mad pro wrestling hate once this news disseminates.