Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Bautista wins — WWE Should Book Bautista vs. Brock Lesnar
By Joshua Molina
Bautista is now an undefeated mixed martial arts fighter.
The 43-year-old former WWE champion won his first fight by TKO in the first round Saturday night in Rhode Island.
Bautista may be the only MMA fighter in history to have a Pay Per View card booked entirely around his MMA debut. The fight was available on Direct TV and not even Brock Lesnar got that kind of treatment after he debuted in 2007.
What Lesnar did get after his MMA debut, however, was a fat contract with the UFC.
It’s not likely that Bautista is going to get a UFC contract after his first fight, if ever.
There were many questions surrounding Batista’s debut. Some of them were answered.
Here are some takeways from the fight, which is widely available for free on the Internet.
10. Bautista didn’t crack under pressure. He was rocked a few times with hard punches, but stayed on his feet and got through it. You can’t really prepare for getting hit inside the cage for the first time. Bautista survived it. Against this opponent, he was OK.
9. Bautista’s opponent Vince Lucero is too fat to fight. Yes, he rocked Bautista early in the fight, but his flabby body and stomach hanging over his waist line is not the kind of image MMA wants to present to the mainstream. Yes, he took the fight on five days’ notice, but still, MMA fighters should have better bodies that your average guy on the street.
8. Bautista has no standup defense. At least he didn’t show it in the fight. He led with his head and his hands low. Lucero made him pay. A better fight would have KO’d Bautista in less than 30 seconds.
7. Bautista is slow. He isn’t fast enough to connect with his punches. Even if he’s packing a powerful punch in his fists he isn’t fast enough to throw combinations to hit his opponent. Lucero, at 300 pounds, moved like a slug in the ring, yet he was faster than the muscular, 265-pound Batista.
6. Bautista trained very hard for the fight. It’s clear that he takes the sport very seriously. Bautista was all business. It was clear that he trained when, after he was getting pounded in the stand-up, that he switched to southpaw and shot for a double-leg takedown. That’s someone who made a necessary adjustment to gain the advantage.
5. Bautista knows how to take a fighter down. Lucero was totally surprised when Bautista went under and took the larger man to the ground. The moved looked like one of his old pro wrestling moves when he would tackle an opponent. He showed that he has a layers to his game and it ultimately made a difference in the fight.
4. Bautista needs to work on his submission offense. He had the blubbery Lucero first on his back, then his stomach and tried to apply several submission holds, including a crucifix. Seeing the chiseled Bautista lay on top of the walrus-like Lucero was one of the more disturbing non-blood-letting images seen in recent MMA history.
3. Bautista has major guts. A lot of people crap on pro wrestlers because they aren’t “real fighters,” but Bautista has proved again that some pro wrestlers like to also fight for real. Had MMA been popular a decade ago, maybe some of these WWE wrestlers probably be fighting in the UFC or other MMA leagues. At 43, Bautista stepped into the cage. That’s pretty impressive.
2. Bautista got lucky. A fighter slighly more skilled than Bautista would have knocked him out. It’s a learning experience and Bautista should go back to the gym and keep training. They should pick his next opponent wisely. Bautista vs. Herschel Walker – now that would be a great fight.
1. WWE has no idea how lucky it is. Bautista will be an even bigger draw when he eventuallys goes back to the pro wrestling. He knocked out his first opponent and can return to the squared circled as a legitimate bad-ass, MMA fighter. It doesn’t matter that Bautista’s opponent was fat and out of shape. It was a real fight. If the WWE were smart, they would book Bautista vs. Brock Lesnar, in a six-sided cage, in a real MMA fight on Pay Per View. Both of those guys would probably make $3 million off that one fight if the WWE promoted it. The UFC cannot compete with the WWE’s money or promotional abilities. That fight would easily outdraw anything that the UFC has ever done on Pay Per View.