CM Punk’s UFC career may have been a one-and-done deal. The former WWE superstar made his professional fighting debut on Saturday at UFC 203 in Cleveland, Ohio against Mickey Gall, and failed miserably.
He was signed by the fight promotion in December 2014 and spent nearly two years preparing for Saturday. Within seconds he found himself on his back. Seconds later he was mounted and eventually submitted via rear-naked choke. The fight lasted just over two minutes.
“I became friends with him. He’s a nice guy. I like him. I have a lot of respect for him. He wanted to give it a shot. I gave him a shot,” said UFC President Dana White about Punk’s UFC debut.
The 37-year-old professional wrestler turned mixed martial artist’s popularity and drawing power landed him in the top MMA promotion on the planet, but that wasn’t his initial plan.
“My initial venture into this was going to be at the lowest level. This opportunity just got presented to myself. I would have been a fool to say no. I don’t know what happens from here on out,” said Punk during the UFC 203 post-fight press conference.
Despite signing him with no MMA experience, White thinks it may be a good idea for Punk to take his next fight in a lower tier promotion.
“He probably shouldn’t have his next fight in the UFC,” White told The Fight Network following Saturday’s event. “This is a tough place to learn.”
Punk wants to continue his journey in MMA, but was uncertain about what the future holds.
“Who’s to say where I go from here,” he asked. “I definitely want to keep going. I just fell off a bike. I’m not just going to shelve it and leave it in the middle of the street. I’ve got to get back on and ride.”