There hasn’t been a whole lot of bad things that have been said about former WWE Champion CM Punk in the last couple of months. Everything seems to be going well for him. His coaches, his training partners, even UFC President Dana White have raved about Punk’s work-ethic, and how eager he is to learn and become a better fighter every day. Furthermore, all of Punk’s training partners respect the fact that Punk was willing to give up his successful career in WWE, and trade it in for a career in MMA, where he has had no previous experience in the sport.
When CM Punk signed with the UFC back in December, there were plenty of questions. Where would he train? What weight class would he compete at? And, probably the most asked question, when will he make his UFC debut?
In an interview with MMA Heat’s Karyn Bryant at this week’s UFC International Fight Week festivities, CM Punk talked about how his training has been going, the challenges of it, and he talked about what everyone wants to know — when he’ll make his UFC debut, saying that he’s still several months away from doing so, but he would love to “fight tomorrow” if he could.
“I say this all of the time, I’d love to fight tomorrow. But I want to be as prepared as I possibly can be, and I will be. So I’m still shooting for like December, it might be January, I’m not sure. But I’ll be ready when I fight.”
It’s well-known that CM Punk irregularly practiced jiu-jitsu while he was on the road with WWE, so many people believed that getting better on the ground would be the easiest thing for him, just because he’s had a bit of experience in that particular martial art. But, there were some who were wondering what the hardest part of his training would be, and what would be the most difficult skill for him to pick up. Well, it appears that Punk’s weakness is wrestling, but, like with everything else, he’s constantly working at it so he won’t have glaring weakness when it’s time for him to fight.
“I think that wrestling is probably my hardest day, just because that’s the grind. You’re constantly in somebody’s face, you’re not trying to give up any ground, and it’s no secret, I didn’t wrestle in high-school, and everybody I train with did. So they have a lifetime of experience, and I love that, because what better place to get better at the one thing you’re bad at? So, it’s a grind, but I don’t quit. Everyday is a learning experience, and like I said, I’m in love with it, it’s fun. Like, I’ll get beat up and tired… I’ll be the guy that keeps standing up and is like ‘alright, let’s just go again, I’ll get you one of these days.'”
CM Punk’s days in the wrestling ring are behind him, but there’s no question that there will be a lot of wrestling fans who watch Punk’s debut, whenever it takes place. Some people believe that Punk will be the second-coming of Brock Lesnar in terms of pay-per-view business, but that remains to be seen.
Most wrestling fans have been extremely supportive of Punk throughout his transition to hopefully becoming a respectable MMA fighter, but, like with anything else, there are always people who can’t accept change. Punk has said in the past that he will never return to WWE, and it’s likely that if his UFC career goes well, he’ll never return to pro wrestling at all.
There is a belief that Punk, who is 36, will only fight in the UFC a handful of times, maybe five times at most, and then transition into being a commentator or an analyst for the company, which is a perfect role for him. But, as of right now, Punk is training hard, and, if we’re lucky, we’ll see him in the octagon before the year ends.
[Image via Scripps Media]