Following in the footsteps of former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) stablemates Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley, Dave Bautista (also known as "Batista" inside the ring) decided he, too, wanted to give mixed martial arts (MMA) a shot.
After months of preparation and anticipation, Bautista finally stepped inside a cage this past weekend (Oct. 6, 2012) as he took on Vince Lucero in the CES 12: "Real Pain" main event from the Dunkin' Donuts in Providence, Rhode Island.
The debut didn't look too promising for the former wrestling star, who was at the mercy of Lucero's haymakers in the opening frame. After absorbing a few clean shots, the chiseled heavyweight eventually landed a take down and proceeded to ground-and-pound his opponent until the referee intervened to prevent further damage.
It wasn't the most impressive debut, but it wasn't the worst either, as Bautista picked up the all important win.
According to another one of his former WWE colleagues, current WWE champion CM Punk, who appeared today (Oct. 8, 2012) on "The MMA Hour" for those thinking "The Animal" is looking to make a career out of professional fighting, think again.
"It's definitely a bucket-list kind of thing. I think it's awesome, too. Dave just wanted the experience. He wanted to fight even if it was just one time. It was something that he wanted to do. He loves it so he put his mind to it and did it, and I think that amazing. I don't think anybody can criticize that. He has no delusions of grandeur. He's not trying to get a big, fat UFC contract. He's not trying to coast on his name from the WWE. He's just fighting because he wanted to experience it."
Unlike Lesnar before him, who did parlay his "name" from the WWE into a "fat" contract with the UFC, capturing the the Heavyweight championship in 2008 after only his second fight with the promotion, Bautista, according to Punk, only wants to do it for the experience.
Plenty of criticism arose after "The Animal's" performance, and Punk, for one, says the "haters" will come out in full force regardless, and not many people are willing to do what Bautista did Saturday night.
"The haters, if you're doing something right you're going to get criticized. I don't think there's a whole lot of people who can do what Dave did, and those are the ones that are going to criticize him. To me, those are the funniest ones. They say funny stuff. They make the funniest comments and they're fun to laugh at."
Are you amused?
To watch full video of Batista's MMA debut click here.