7 Takeaways From UFC 203: CM Punk Puts Over the Young Talent

September 11, 2016

Come on, CM Punk fans, you don’t know this is how it was supposed to be? Every pro wrestling fan knows that the older talent ALWAYS puts over the younger talent, to pass the torch and give the new guy rub.

It’s a time-honored tradition, and Punk, 37, put over Mickey Gall, 23, big at UFC 203. Now instead of one star, we have TWO.

That’s how it works, MMA fans. Like a Mickey Gall shoot for the takedown, let’s dive in and look at the UFC 203 takeaways.

7. CM Punk Bombed

There was no pipe bomb Saturday night, just a regular bomb. Punk was manhandled by Mickey Gall in about the way everyone expected. The truth is that Gall is going to beat a lot of guys with MMA experience, so he should have walked right through Punk. After all the hype, videos, documentaries, build-up, CM Punk choked. He probably could have fought just as well a year ago, pre-back surgery, than he did last night. It was a major disappointment for Punk, but short of getting knocked out, Jose Aldo-style, this was a bad defeat. He might get one more UFC fight, but if he doesn’t win, he’ll find himself in Bellator really quickly.

6. CM Punk Won Fans

No matter what CM Punk tries to say, he is a professional wrestler through and through. It’s so sad that he left the WWE because he could be having great matches with A.J. Styles, Seth Rollins and eventually Shinsuke Nakamura. Punk was born to be a professional wrestler. We finally saw some shades of the real Punk as he was walking out to the cage, and then in his post-fight interview. He cut the post-fight promo of his life, inspiring anyone listening to follow their dreams and if you lose, that’s OK, because you are a winner for trying. That’s really the lesson that we should be teaching kids. The reality is that not everyone gets to win, but we all win when we fight or play with dignity. People like Punk and respect him. Hell, even the smack-talkers know they won’t dare walk into the cage at 37 years old and fight a 23-year-old. Punk is a star, a new kind of star, but he’s a star. He’ll probably end up with an analyst job in the UFC.

5. CM Punk Has a Hard Head

Literally and figuratively. The truth is that Punk actually looked decent in surviving the Gall beat down for nearly two minutes. He took some massive shots. He avoided submission attempts, and showed some decent defense. Not too many guys, even experienced ones, are going to get out of a full-mount position. Punk took shots to the head and didn’t fold. He eventually lost his position and was choked out, but this is a guy who probably would have been a decent fighter when he was younger. He probably will win an MMA fight at some point. He took some massive shots that would have folded a lot of other guys.

4. Mickey Gall is Good

If the UFC wanted to bury a former WWE star, they picked the perfect guy in Gall. He’s a good fighter and he will probably defeat a lot of guys with MMA experience. If the UFC wanted CM Punk to win, they matched him up with the wrong guy. Gall is probably going to be a championship contender fairly soon. He’s big and fast and motivated. The UFC has a new star on its hands.

3. Stipe Miocic Might Hold the Title For a Long Time

Depending on which Cain Velasquez he fights. Miocic hits really hard and took a few of Alistair Overeem‘s biggest shots. Miocic will be tough to beat because he possesses knockout power in his right hand so anyone who gets close to him is in trouble. Clearly, Velasquez is the only guy who can threaten him right now. Velasquez would have to wrestle him down and use top position to knock him out. But Velasquez is inconsistent. Miocic, if he continues to fight smart, could hold the title for a long time. He’s good for the heavyweight division. Someone actually looks dominant.

2. Fabricio Werdum Should Be Fined

You are not allowed to kick cornermen. Period. It doesn’t matter what smack he is talking. Fabricio Werdum dominated Travis Browne, then threw a front kick at Brown’s coach during the post-fight. Not a good role model. Fighting is honorable when it’s during the five minutes of official cage time. Outside of that, it’s just thuggish.

1. CM Punk Should Return to the WWE

Not because he can’t fight, but because that’s where he belongs.  We believe him. He’s tough. He can do it. He’s got guts. But he is born to be a tough-guy professional wrestler. And there’s no shame in that. Mickey Gall could not wrestle professionally. Neither could most MMA guys. Neither could they sell a fight with the verbal skills. They sure as heck can’t inspire thousands of people to chant your name as you enter the ring, night after night, after night, after night. The WWE is a spectacular paradise of athleticism and entertainment. At 37 years old that’s where Punk belongs. He is The Best in the World — the pro wrestling world. Embrace it.

Follow Joshua Molina on Twitter: @JECMolina.

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