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Bautista's 1st MMA Opponent

REPLACED

Arrested Week Before Fight

10/1/2012 3:55 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1001_bautista_getty
Bautista's very first professional MMA fight was nearly scrapped this week when his opponent was arrested for a probation violation ... but TMZ has learned organizers have dug up a replacement fighter just in the nick of time.

The fight has been in the works for months ... the ex-WWE champ was slated to get in the ring with Rashid Evans (not the one from the UFC) at a CES MMA event in Providence, Rhode Island.

But a rep for the event tells us ... Evans was scratched from the fight card when he was arrested for violating his probation some time last week ... and once again, it seemed like fate was going to prevent Bautista's MMA career from ever getting started.

Event organizers scrambled to find a replacement fighter -- a guy named Vince Lucero stepped up ... which could be a HUUUUGE problem for Bautista because Lucero has been in more than 40 pro fights.

In fact, Lucero has gone toe-to-toe with a bunch of legitimate MMA studs ... including former UFC Heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia (Sylvia won that fight).

The fight is still scheduled to go down Saturday at 8pm ET.

Good luck.

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
30 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

Jackie    

butter face.

754 days ago
17.

verlinda    

Always loved Dave Batista. He was going to be my 3 Husband.

754 days ago
18.

Mark    

He lost to Tim Sylvia? Ya he definitely is a rare breed of fighte. lol

754 days ago
19.

Jennlinds12317    

I haven't seen Lou Diamond Phillips since La Bamba. Is it me or did he get f'ing huge since then?

754 days ago
20.

jemteku    

That will do it. Can't fight from a Correctional Facility cage. Hope he gets a good replacement.

754 days ago
21.

schweddyballer404    

Hes got to take roids man

754 days ago
22.

sojourner israel    

im a batista fan all the way!dont let em get you down my friend stay the course!
sojourner

753 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2

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