Upon learning his original opponent is unable to fight, six-time World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) champion David Bautista will now face Arizona veteran Vince Lucero next weekend in his long-awaited mixed martial arts debut Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.
Even his own kids are in awe of the 6-foot-6, 265-pound giant known throughout the world for his death-defying moves inside the squared circle. “When I told them I was fighting Bautista, they didn’t say, ‘Good luck, dad!’ They asked, ‘Can you get his autograph?’” joked Lucero at Friday’s pre-fight weigh-in at the Providence Downtown Marriott Hotel. “The guy is a freakin’ monster, but how do you say no to this fight? This is what I’ll be remembered for, so I need to leave it all in the cage.”
Two weeks ago, the Casa Grande, Ariz., native had no idea he was about to be thrust into the spotlight, but when Bautista’s original opponent, Rashid Evans, fell through, Lucero (20-22, 11 KOs) accepted the fight on short notice. He and Bautista will clash tomorrow night in Bautista’s long-awaited mixed martial arts debut at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center in the main event of “Real Pain,” presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports in association with June Entertainment and 4zero1 Entertainment Group.
Lucero has faced elite competition throughout his career, former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, former UFC heavyweight contenders Justin Eilers, Christian Wellisch, Strikeforce veteran Ruben Villareal.
“I’ve been in there with some prime UFC veterans. I’ve been around the world. I know what it takes,” Lucero said. “This is truly an honor. When they asked me to fight Sylvia, I had already retired. I had a full-time job, but I said, ‘Sure, why not?’ It was like facing Michael Jordan in basketball. You can’t say no to opportunities like this. I’m a fighter, so I fight.” The
The 43-year-old Bautista is a six-time WWE world champion, winning the World Heavyweight Championship four times and the WWE Championship twice. He also won the World Tag Team Championship three times and is the longest-reigning World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history. The former bodybuilder and wrestler is also one of the stars of the upcoming Quentin Tarantino motion picture The Man With The Iron Fists, which is scheduled to hit theaters Nov. 2.
“I’m doing this for my love and passion of MMA, not for personal reasons,” Bautista said. “I’m tired of talking about myself at this point, but I want to thank everyone who has supported me and supported this event.
Tickets are available at www.cesmma.com or www.ticketmaster.com and are priced at $20.00, $35.00, $55.00, $75.00, $125.00 and $250.00. The show will also air live on Direct TV Pay Per View for $29.95 ($39.95 in high definition) beginning at 8 p.m., or through Livestream via www.bautistamma.com in high definition.
For more on Bautista’s MMA debut click here.Tags: batista, CES MMA, Dave Bautista, featured, mma, WWE