You read that headline correctly ...
"Guardians of the Galaxy" star Dave Bautista says he got a WHOLE NEW respect for pole dancing -- when he actually tried to do some of the moves himself ... yes, Bautista got on the pole!
Both Dave and his pole dancing champion wife, Sarah Jade, joined the guys on "TMZ Sports" (airs tonight on FS1) and told us all about the serious strength and athleticism it takes to master the craft.
FYI, Sarah just took 1st place at Miss Pole Dance America 2016 -- one of the most prestigious competitions in the world.
You gotta watch the FULL INTERVIEW tonight on FS1 -- we even talked with Dave about the highly anticipated 'Guardians' sequel ... it's good stuff!
Check out TMZ Sports weeknights at 9 PM PT, 12 ET on FS1.