Former WWE star CM Punk has tried his best to dodge questions about his former employer since he signed with the UFC in early December. Even when asked to compare pro wrestling to MMA, Punk has given short answers and always looked annoyed when the phrase “pro wrestling” or “WWE” has been brought up during an interview.
Now, it seems like Punk has changed his tune, as he was asked during an interview with Wisconsin’s WISports to compare professional wrestling and mixed martial arts, and Punk said that he thinks the two are “quite similar.”
“I think MMA is pro wrestling. If you go back to the early 1900’s and the whole genesis of professional wrestling, and then you go back to the early beginnings of MMA, it was all pro wrestlers.
“The characters, the action, the media, the mouths. There’s a reason people are interested in this, whether it’s good or it’s bad, whether they love me or they hate me.”
As many WWE and UFC fans know, CM Punk isn’t the first big WWE star to make the jump from the squared-circle to the octagon, as the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar — like Punk — quit WWE back in 2004, and made his UFC debut four years later. There have been a lot of people who have compared Punk to Lesnar due to the fact that they’re both coming from the world of pro wrestling. However, Lesnar had a much more reliable base than Punk has when he made his octagon debut, as Lesnar was a former NCAA Wrestling Champion.
Punk and Lesnar had their first and only match with each other at WWE SummerSlam in 2013. Up until this past January, it was likely the best match of Lesnar’s current WWE run. Since that match, Punk and Lesnar have become friends and Lesnar has even given Punk advice to help him prepare for his UFC debut.
“I’ve talked to him and he’s offered all his help, even if it’s just bug him with a stupid question. It’s cool to know he supports me. He’s a good guy to know, I think.”
When Punk signed with the UFC back in January and was asked when he’d make his UFC debut, he gave the timetable of six to eight months. Now, it seems like he’s leaning more towards six months.
“I’ve been here a little over one month now. Five more months we’re going to sit down and we’re going to talk, and we’re going to see where my weight’s at, we’re going to see how I feel. It’s no longer just up to me. It’s up to my coaches.”
[Image via MMA Fighting]