Classic Entertainment and Sports (CES) held its 12th event last night (Sat., Oct. 6, 2012) up in Providence, Rhode Island, with the star attraction being former WWE Champion Dave Bautista, known to some as simply Batista.
Chalk up one more for the old pro wrestlers moving into mixed martial arts (MMA). Bautista is now 1-0 in his career after ending Vince Lucero's night after about four minutes into the bout.
Lucero tried, coming out firing and landing a few shots, but his skills on the ground are pretty much non-existent and once "Brass Body" is on top of you, it's clear that he knows enough to hit very, very hard.
Focusing solely on Dave for the moment, because obviously that's what people care about, there's a small amount to analyze here. For starters, his stand-up is pretty shaky. His hands were a bit low, his chin up high and letting a wild-swinging journeyman like Lucero land a bunch of shots doesn't bode well. That said, he ate a few clean punches from a 300-pound man with 22 MMA wins under his belt and didn't crumple over.
There's no way of looking at that other than a positive.
His one successful takedown was shot from the cheap seats, but due to some combination of his athleticism -- which is pretty damn fantastic for a 43-year-old -- and Lucero's poor takedown defense, it got the job done. As far as his ground-and-pound goes, he looked pretty good, but he wasn't picking his shots well. He spammed shots once he got mount, rather than working for better openings. He landed one shot right on the back of Lucero's head that had referee Dan Miragliotta hovering over the action.
It's not going to be a long career for a man of his years, but Bautista looked decent enough that he should seek out a few more fights before calling it. I'd suggest Bobby Lashley if he wants to make the most dollars, but there are plenty of former Ultimate Fighter veterans out there that will happily headline shows like this for a good enough payday that he stands a decent shot at beating.
In other action, there were two other fights with "name" recognition. Longtime MMA veteran David Loiseau picked up an early win via doctor stoppage. "The Crow" landed an enormous elbow from guard on Chris McNally that busted him open but good. The doctor had an "are you kidding me?" look on his face when the ref asked if the fight could continue.
The most relevant name insofar as the sport of MMA goes was middleweight John Howard. "Doomsday" had a very game opponent in Brett Chism who took him into the second round before succumbing to a broken face. Think Kyle Kingsbury or Brandon Vera. This is the fourth win in a row now for Howard, who should almost certainly be back in the big show sometime in 2013 at this point.