Two years after signing with the UFC, CM Punk finally debuted at UFC 203. Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, stood in the ring opposite Mickey Gall. By all accounts, Gall was a much younger and stronger opponent — a man with a point of his own to prove. Yet Punk didn’t back down from the challenge. Most fight fans anticipated a loss. Others expected complete humiliation.
In that vein, things kind of went as expected. Gall took down Punk within seconds and began to hammer and dominate him. The ex-WWE Superstar tried to fight back. Nothing worked. Ultimately, the fight lasted about three minutes; Gall defeated Punk by submission.
It was a painful welcome for Punk, who was visibly disappointed in his performance. That didn’t stop CM Punk from expressing obvious pride in having the audacity to do more than dream about MMA fighting as a fan.
— UFC (@ufc) September 11, 2016
With UFC 203 over and CM Punk officially “blooded” into the company, a new question arises: Will we see more of Punk or is this a “one-and-done” situation?
— Kayfabe News (@KayfabeNews) September 11, 2016
If CM Punk were to walk away from the sport right now, despite his loss, no one would hold it against him. Despite the jeers from some MMA fans, he managed to accomplish what the vast majority of them will not: Actually stepping into the Octagon and putting his health on the line.
He doesn’t really have much else to prove, although Punk might hope to at least improve his UFC career to 1-1. That goal might inspire the ex-wrestler to try again. Were that to happen, we can expect a change to how Punk’s promoted and when he fights.
Despite the attention given to CM Punk’s debut, this will likely be the last time he appears on the main card at a UFC PPV event. It may be too soon to rule out an appearance in a preliminary fight televised on Fox Sports 1. Punk is just not an experienced enough fighter and what drawing power he had was diminished a little by the loss. Yes, there are people who’d eagerly tune in to watch CM Punk lose, but that’s a rather cynical reason to put him on UFC PPV main cards.
Instead, we’ll probably see his next fight televised — assuming there is a “next fight.”
— ESPN (@espn) September 11, 2016
It’s quite possible that UFC President Dana White will look at the outcome of CM Punk’s debut and decide to pass on featuring Punk in any future events whatsoever. White made an investment in Punk when he snatched the Superstar from the WWE. Getting Punk into the Octagon at any point meant getting a return on that investment.
CM Punk himself expressed fears that he could be cut by the UFC. Punk spoke to MMAJunkie, opening up a bit about his post-debut fears.
“I don’t know what happens from here on out; what if I get cut?” the former WWE champ told MMAjunkie at the post-event presser at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. “I think that’s a possibility? Do I want that to happen? No. But who’s to say where I go from here?”
Some fight fans hope UFC 203 will represent the beginning and end of CM Punk’s career. No, not because they hate him or find him a “mockery” to “real” fighters.
CM Punk made his debut as a welterweight. The UFC welterweight division is a very formidable one. We saw what a relatively new (but experienced) fighter can do to CM Punk. It doesn’t get any easier than what he had during his debut. CM Punk may be hoping for more action, but it might be best for him to take the loss and retire.
Do you think CM Punk should fight in the UFC again or should he retire? Share your thoughts below!
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