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Former WWE Star Batista Says Long-Rumored Strikeforce Deal Is Dead

A long-rumored deal that would bring former professional wrestling star Dave Batista to mixed martial arts under the Strikeforce banner is now dead.

The 42-year-old, whose real last name is Bautista, quit wrestling in mid-2010 and shortly afterward said he was interested in transitioning into MMA. After months of ongoing negotiations though, Batista told TMZ that talks with Strikeforce came to a close shortly after UFC parent company Zuffa bought Strikeforce.

"It didn't break down until they sold out" he said. "I had no idea. Nobody ever said anything. Scott Coker never said anything. We had a deal on the table. We were just trying to fix a few things and next thing I know they got bought out. That's how it goes."

Batista, who said he was "real disappointed" by the development, said he had spoken to other organizations but had his "heart set on Strikeforce."

As far back as last October, Batista told a Washington, DC radio station that the two sides were "real close" to a deal, had agreed on money, and that he was hoping to make his debut in March 2011. He also announced that he would train with Team Cesar Gracie to prepare for his first match. Strikeforce president Scott Coker later confirmed ongoing dialogue, but that timeframe came and went without a finalized deal, and now it appears he's unlikely ever to fight in major MMA.

Strikeforce officials declined to comment on the report.