Former WWE Champ CM Punk Follows Brock Lesnar’s Footsteps to the UFC

December 6, 2014
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What was good enough for Brock Lesnar is good enough for his former WWE cohort CM Punk.

The UFC teased a big announcement to open its UFC 181 pay-per-view on Saturday night, and it delivered.

After Tony Ferguson finished Abel Trujillo in the main card opener, Joe Rogan put an end to weeks of speculation and brought out former WWE champion Phil “CM Punk” Brooks to announce the wrestler’s arrival to the Octagon.

SEE ALSO: Dana White Curious, Would Welcome Brock Lesnar Back to the UFC

CM Punk (Phil Brooks)Following his abrupt departure and eventual legal settlement with WWE earlier this year, Punk has decided that, at 36 years of age, it’s now or never for a career in mixed martial arts, a sport he’s long been a fan of.

“I’d say my professional wrestling days are over. I’m sure I’m going to have to do plenty of wrestling in (the Octagon). It’s going to be interesting. It’s awesome to be here,” Punk told Rogan.

“This is something that’s been in the back of my mind for a very, very long time. I have a background in Kempo. I’ve done Brazilizan Jiu-Jitsu off and on for a very, very long time,” he continued. “But the idea being able to step into the Octagon and find out what’s inside myself and test myself is an opportunity that I was not able to deny myself. I don’t think I would have been able to live with myself if I didn’t give this a shot.”

It’s unclear exactly what the path will be for a UFC career for Punk, who is making the move to the UFC with zero competitive mixed martial arts experience to his credit.

SEE ALSO: CM Punk Joins the UFC: ‘They Will Respect Me’ (UFC 181 Video)

As he said, he does have a martial arts background and was a professional wrestler at a very high level for numerous years, but even Lesnar took a fight elsewhere before the UFC took a chance on him. But for Punk, if the UFC was willing, he felt that if he was ever going to give MMA a try, it had to be now.

“I felt like it was now or never. Maybe about three years ago I re-signed with the WWE. I tried to give that the old college try. It’s now or never for me,” said Punk. “I have a limited window, just like all fighters do, and I fully intend to get in there. I’m here for a fight. I’m here to either get my ass kicked or kick somebody’s ass.”

That’s not saying that he’s in it for one fight, just to have the experience and give the UFC a PR boost. This is a career move for Punk.

“This is my new career, 100 percent. I’m going to go full steam ahead, all systems go after today, and it’s going to be fun.”

Punk wasn’t ready to reveal where he would be training, although he clearly has some camps in mind, but said he is likely to fight in the middleweight division, depending upon how the weight cut goes. He indicated that welterweight was also a possibility, but ruled out going to 205 pounds or higher.

The details are still very much up in the air, but as of Saturday night, CM Punk is no longer a WWE Superstar, he’s a UFC fighter.

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  • drkdisciple

    The kind of ridiculous signing I would expect from Bellator. The guy is 36 years old with zero mma experience the so called “big announcement” is a joke.

    • GrasshopperMMA

      I agree with you. The UFC did this for ratings though.

      • Muttley76

        Of course, but in fairness everything they do (and from a business standpoint rightly so) is for ratings. And like everyone has said already, it should be entertaining in SOME form or fashion…

    • Shaquan Jamison

      I agree. In no way can you compare this to Brock Lesnar’s jump into the UFC. Not only did Brock have one pro fight on the books, but he was an all american, champion NCAA division 1 wrestler. Plus he was still in his 20s when he had his first pro fight. Punk is too old and too inexperienced to have any chance of making it in the UFC. This stunt is purely a ratings grab. And to that end it should be entertaining watching him get his a** handed to him.

  • Timothy Malone

    If he wants to try MMA that is cool, but no way he should be fighting in the UFC for his debut pro fight.

    Or if nothing else put him on the next Ultimate Fighter and get ratings for your reality show

  • cm for champ

    There is a lot of guy in the ufc that shouldn’t be there. I dont understand why some poeple are crying about this your not paying the f—en guy so shut the f— up. Let’s see what he could do, this exciting I can’t wait to see him fight. I hope he does a great job. This is really inspiring

  • Spike


  • UncommonSense100

    We as MMA fans need to accept the cost of moving the business further and further towards the main stream. The sport needs to keep expanding the fan base. The sport is still nowhere near the popularity of of the mainstream PPV buys of boxing in the 80’s/90’s or even the ratings of the WWE week in week out now. If CM Punk can bring more eyeballs, more power to it. He undersells his BJJ background. If you have followed his career, he’s been training for a long time in it. I don’t know anything about his Kenpo background, but let’s give the guy a chance. This is a guy with respect for the sport and isn’t some hack boxer who is wandering into the Octagon thinking his one dimensional skillset can make him competitive.

  • Mattius Wight

    I understand this from a money/publicity standpoint, but a lot of real fighers are working full time jobs and training to get a chance to get a chance to make it in the UFC, much less be there. The Ultimate Fighter of The Resurrection Fighting Alliance would have been perfect for him. This just insults up and coming fighters. They will and are often going elsewhere already.

  • BobGyro

    Phuck 0 MMA experience not even 1 ……. 0

  • Piotr

    Way to legitimize the sport UFC.

  • nick

    If the ufc puts him in against some cream puff I wont even watch. If they place him ahead of guys who are training full time to even get a shot at being in the ufc then he should be able to fight a good opponent. Anything less is an insult to the warriors who have earned there spot with dedication, sweat and blood.

  • Roger

    next year they will sign Rick Flair.

    • Joe Dog

      Ric Flair vs Mickey Rourke. Dana can make it happen.