The Animal has been unleashed into the world of MMA, and he has officially claimed his first victim.
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t quite that impressive, but hey—a win’s a win, right?
As we all know by now, Batista, or Dave Bautista, scored his first MMA victory on Saturday night against an overweight Vince Lucero in a fight that basically ended in a whimper for the former WWE Superstar.
But, truth be told, Batista didn’t look bad. He took some punches and stayed on his feet for the entire fight. However, the pace of the bout was slow, with both men feeling each other out, and though Batista remained vertical, he was backpedaling for the majority of the time.
Not exactly the physical onslaught that he was famous for in WWE.
But he has secured his first win, and now it seems that his pro wrestling past is firmly in the past. Or is it?
Anytime a guy leaves WWE, especially one the caliber of Batista, fans almost immediately begin wondering when and if he will make a comeback. Chris Jericho, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Brock Lesnar are just a few names that have left the company to make their way in another field. Two of the three have made their returns. So far.
Come on, Steve. Punk is waiting.
But when Batista left, he did so with heat from some fans who looked at him as nothing but a diva. He seemed to want more spotlight than what he was getting, and despite the fact that the company regularly featured him on the main-event stage, it apparently was not enough.
So, the Animal decided to move on to the next chapter of his career. MMA.
Insert chuckle here.
Many fans surely did get a laugh out of the announcement, as the aforementioned Brock Lesnar had been the only one to have made the jump successfully. Bobby Lashley has yet to make a real splash in the sport, and Kurt Angle’s desire to do so has evidently ended.
So what made the 41-year-old Batista think he could not only enter the world of mixed martial arts, but actually be relevant?
Because he is a competitor, pure and simple. If he were the ego-driven prima donna that he had been perceived to be, then he perhaps would have pursued an acting career a little more intensely than he did.
Or, he could have just sat at home and written a scathing tell-all book on WWE and all of its dirty secrets.
If you think that a guy like Batista, who has been around the greats of the company, doesn’t have some dirt that fans don’t know about, then you are very likely mistaken.
But Dave instead chose to test himself against skilled fighters who make a living out of trying to beat down their opponents. There is no predetermined outcome in the world that Batista now inhabits, no give and take, no cooperation among the men in the Octagon. Now, Dave Bautista is on his own.
And so far, so good.
Though the possibility of a WWE return is always on the table, I personally believe that, since he has emerged victorious in his first fight, Batista should be focused more than ever on his new career.
It may not have been the impressive win that some fans were hoping for, but he did have his arm raised at the end, and that is all that matters.
So where does he go from here? Does he get placed on the fast track to the top, with those around him using his WWE fame to help garner attention and ratings, the way it did with Brock Lesnar? Or will he truly be allowed to take his time, to develop his skills and improve his game?
Despite what happens, this is one writer who has to say that, although his first MMA fight was not exactly the stuff of legend, Dave Bautista deserves some props. He got farther than many thought he would, and now we will all have to wait and see what the future holds for him.
Unleash the Animal. Well, sort of.