Dave Bautista only recently began training mixed martial arts in earnest. He hasn’t signed a Strikeforce contract. But that isn’t stopping Strikeforce from talking up the potential debut of the former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar.
Bautista, who left WWE earlier this year after finishing up his contract with the company, has been training at the Cesar Gracie gym with Jake Shields and the Diaz brothers in the hopes of jump-starting a career in mixed martial arts. Strikeforce officials are keeping a watchful eye on Bautista, and if they see enough dedication and progression, they are very likely to sign him to a contract.
If signed, Bautista’s debut will almost assuredly come against fellow former pro wrestler Bobby Lashley. It’s a fight that makes a lot of sense to Strikeforce officials, and they’re talking up the possibility of putting the bout on the first-ever Strikeforce pay per view card.
“That’s not a free television bout. That’s a pay per view fight,” said Strikeforce matchmaker Rich Chou. “You can’t give away everything for free.”
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker echoed the sentiments. “Absolutely. That’s a pay per view fight. I believe we put on some great matchups for the hardcore fans and the casual fans in general. When you tune in to a Strikeforce fight, you know you’re going to see some great fights,” Coker told Heavy.com. “But every once in awhile, when you get a chance to throw in a fight like this one that’s just fun to watch? Why not?”
Coker also indicated that he’d like to see a heavyweight tournament featuring Fedor Emelianenko, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem and Antonio Silva.