Dave Batista should never be in an Octagon unless Vince McMahon decides to use one in a new gimmick match. Batista made his MMA debut Saturday night against a hefty gentleman named Vince Lucero. He was victorious by first-round stoppage, but less than impressive. After an underwhelming performance, I was left missing the beast gimmick from his WWE days.
Physically, Batista looked much tougher than Lucero, but as an MMA fighter, he wasn't vastly superior. Both men were exhausted midway through the first round. This was not a top-level MMA showing by any stretch. The only thing that was more brutal than Batista's performance was Joe Lauzon's post-fight interview. J-Lo was like a cross between Rocky Balboa and Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley.
Lucero landed shots on Batista early, but they didn't seem to have an effect on him. That said, were he hit with those shots by a more formidable heavyweight, Batista would have been in trouble.
Where should Batista go from here?
He is obviously a decent athlete; he's strong as an ox and a generally tough guy. However, it takes far more than that to be a serious MMA fighter. Batista is 43 years old, and this performance was proof that he has a lot to learn from a technical standpoint.
Lucero basically surrendered to his belly on the mat once he was gassed. Batista failed to appropriately mount his opponent. He ultimately pounded Lucero out, but the submission was there for the taking.
It was clear Batista had no clue on how to simply execute a rear-naked choke. If Batista were 23 instead of 43, my evaluation of his performance wouldn't be as harsh. Sadly, that isn't the case.
In the WWE, Batista has value and impact simply by walking into an arena. It isn't as pertinent that he execute maneuvers in the ring impeccably. You can watch any of Brock Lesnar's recent WWE matches as proof of that.
Not executing properly in the MMA world will result in serious injury. Here is to hoping the next pay-per-view we see Batista in takes place on Sunday and not Saturday.
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