While it wasn’t quite the same stage that fellow former WWE champion Brock Lesnar made when he moved to mixed martial arts, 43-year old Dave Bautista had a successful fighting debut on Saturday night and promises to deliver more in the future.
Bautista, who famously opened his MMA training career working with the Cesar Gracie fight team before transitioning to a Gracie team in Tampa, Fla, made his debut against journeyman fighter Vince Lucero on Saturday night.
It wasn’t pretty, but after getting tagged on his feet early and rocked with some shots courtesy of Lucero, Bautista battled back and after getting the fight to the ground he was able to put together some offense.
Bautista battered Lucero with strikes until the referee was forced to swoop in and stop the action.
After the fight, Bautista spoke to UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon, who was in the in-ring interviewer for the evening, and promised to return for more MMA fights in the future.
“I think my nerves got the best of me. He hits like a (expletive) horse,” Bautista said after the fight. “I want to fight again for sure.”
Also on the same card former UFC middleweight David Loiseau picked up a win over Chris McNally by first round TKO as did John Howard who defeated Brett Chism via second round TKO.
Here is the full fight video for Bautista vs. Lucero: