CM Punk signed with the UFC over the weekend and there has been nonstop press regarding it ever since. The two things that made us wonder when he signed was, what division would he fight in and who would his first opponent be? UFC President Dana White claims he wants to throw CM Punk in with guys on his level…those with a 1-0 or 2-1 record in the UFC.
However, Punk’s good friend and UFC Fighter Chael Sonnen claimed that Punk would fight a notable fighter that MMA fans would know. He could be right, as UFC Fighter Cathal Pendred claims he will be the man who faces Punk. He claimed on his Twitter…
“This punk is going to be ‘one & done’ in the UFC. It looks like I will be that one. #JustWonTheLottery …”
“Croke Park, 2015
“Main Event: Aldo vs. McGregor
“Co-Main: Pendred vs. CM Punk
“UFC attendance record smashed.
“UFC PPV sales record obliterated.”
Croke Park is in Dublin, Ireland and the main event he claimed is one that makes sense. Connor McGregor is a native Irishman and it has been rumored for some time that he would face Jose Aldo for the UFC Featherweight Championship when UFC heads to Ireland next summer. McGregor claims he alone could sell out Croke Park and set attendance records.
However, with CM Punk on the card it would be a certainty that it would sell out and shatter PPV numbers at the same time. CM Punk could draw alone, but having a marquee fight like McGregor/Aldo would make the show worth seeing on it alone. However, Cathal Pendred is Irish as well, and would be a big addition to the card regardless of who he faced.
Pendred may be making false claims on him being the guy though. We know CM Punk’s fight will make the main card. We also can assume he will be a main event with whoever he faces. However, Pendred is 15-2. The man is an amazing Welterweight and could be considered for the UFC Welterweight Title in the future if he keeps up his current run.
He has not been in the UFC for very long however. He might fit within the guidelines of what Dana White wants for CM Punk due to this. Sure, he has had more fights under his belt, but not as many in the UFC. That being said, Pendred could be the guy tapped for the job.
This means, however, that CM Punk would have to go down to Welterweight at 170 lbs. This is not easy for Punk of course. His WWE wrestling weight was 218 lbs. Punk claims he is around 200 lbs or under. Middleweight would be the best option for him as far as a first fight goes. Losing another 30 lbs won’t be easy, but he’d have up until the summer of 2015 to do it.
While Pendred may not be the ideal guy for Punk to face, it makes sense from a marketing standpoint and fans would get a solid first fight with CM Punk. No opponent will be easy for CM Punk, and Pendred would be a major first test. So if this is where the UFC is leaning and not some fantasy booking by Pendred himself, we could be in for a good card next summer.
[IMG Credits: ESPN.go.com, FOXSports.com]