Friday, May 6, 2011

Former WWE star Dave Bautista says potential deal with Strikeforce "dead" after Zuffa's purchase of the company

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Former WWE wrestler-turned-aspiring MMA fighter Dave Bautista says a potential deal with Strikeforce is dead following the purchase of the company by the UFC's parent company, Zuffa, LLC.

Speaking with, Bautista said he was really disappointed that a deal could not be reached, and felt blind-sided by the UFC's purchase of Strikeforce ending negotiations.

"Strikeforce is done. We were [negotiating with them], but UFC bought them out," he said. "They never said anything to me about it. I'm disappointed... I really had my heart set on Strikeforce, I thought we had a deal... I'm real disappointed."

"It didn't break down until they sold out. I just had no idea, nobody ever said anything. Scott Coker never said anything. We had a deal on the table and we were just trying to fix a couple of things, then next thing you know they got bought out."

The 42-year-old Bautista has been in talks for a long period of time about making his MMA debut, and Strikeforce was publicly discussing possibly bringing him into the fold for much of 2010, but nothing came to fruition. There were reports early this year that he may wind up in the U.K.'s BAMMA promotion, though nothing has been confirmed.

Link to video interview

Penick's Analysis: That's not at all surprising. With Zuffa buying out Strikeforce, any belief that they would have put anything together with Bautista probably went immediately out the window. It would have been a mistake to bring him in prior to the purchase by Zuffa, so with them now in charge it's no surprise they had no interest in it. He's getting into the game too late with no combat sports background. If he wants to attempt to fight that's fine, but I've argued many times since talk began of him attempting to enter the sport that it shouldn't be at the expense of someone who deserves a televised spot and deserves a featured fight more than he does.

[Dave Bautista art by Grant Gould (c)]


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