The only time Batista’s name should even remotely be associated with Strikeforce would perhaps be a discussion of his favorite tag-team growing up, former WWF champions Rick Martel and Tito Santana. (Supposedly, young Batista had posters featuring the Can-Am Connection replacements plastered all over his wall as a kid, which, frankly, concerned his father.) That is, until he opened his mouth to celebrity gossip site TMZ while the Animal was loose in Los Angeles over the weekend, claiming to be training for his first MMA fight with Strikeforce. (Suddenly, those acting dreams of his sound realistic.) In his defense, the big lug appears a bit glassy-eyed, so perhaps the gossip cam caught him coming out of a bar. Batista recently walked away from millions in WWE–fed up with the direction of the company as well as worn down by the travel grind–to pursue acting roles in Hollywood. Personally, I hated to see him go, as he had finally evolved into a first-rate heel, delivering great promos and having great matches with John Cena in the months before his departure.
I don’t doubt that he has the desire to do MMA, but it sure seems like suicide–personally and professionally. Or perhaps he thinks a WWE heavyweight championship on his resume puts him in similar company as Brock Lesnar. (I’d say very similar, if say Batista also entertains thoughts of trying out for the Minnesota Vikings.) Much like Kurt Angle talks openingly of training for MMA in nearly radio interview he conducts, it’s easy to dismiss Batista’s claims of enterting MMA at age 41. (Booker T would tell you that fool suckah doesn’t stand a chance. A poll on TMZ indicates most of their readership doesn’t think much of Batista’s chances, either.) Most likely: Batista be back for his last big-money run in WWE by WrestleMania.
UPDATE (2:11 p.m. PACIFIC): Fight Line is reporting that Strikeforce spokesperson Mike Afromowitz told several outlets earlier today that the former WWE champion has “definitely has not signed” with Strikeforce. He did not offer any other comment. The two sides have had talks and Strikeforce may eventually offer a contract, but have not done so as of this writing.