This weekend Dave Bautista will become the latest professional wrestler to cross over into Mixed Martial Arts. However, unlike counterparts Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar, the former WWE champion’s interest in the sport has nothing to do with fame or fortune but rather pure passion for the product.
Bautista has been a longtime lover of combat sports and, at 43 years old, he wants to fulfill a lifetime dream by testing his mettle inside the cage.
“I know some people have a hard time understanding it. I’m obviously never going to make the money that I made in the WWE, and it’s not like I think I’m going to go become UFC champion,” admitted Bautista in an interview with MMAJunkie. “I just want the experience. I don’t have any ulterior motive. I just want to do it because I love it so much.”
“If getting punched in the face is the worst thing about it, sign me up. I’ve been dropped. I’ve been kicked to where I couldn’t walk. But I still love it,” he continued, acknowledging he was motivated for personal reasons rather than professional.
The MMA neophyte is scheduled to fight Saturday night at CES: Real Pain. He was originally set to take on Rashid Evans who has since withdrawn due to legal issues. No replacement has been named.
PHOTO CREDIT – WWE