Four months ago, CM Punk shocked the sports world when he decided to sign with the UFC. While the transition to a professional mixed martial arts career was expected after Punk left WWE in January of last year, not a whole lot of people expected him to jump right into the biggest and most competitive MMA organization in the world. Furthermore, no one expected that the UFC would sign an ex-professional wrestler with no amateur or professional fights under his belt.
Throughout his professional wrestling career — both in the ring and behind the scenes — CM Punk wasn’t afraid to express his true feelings about something, even if his opinion wasn’t popular among WWE’s top executives.
MMA purists despise CM Punk, just like they despised Brock Lesnar, who was also a former WWE Champion. But unlike Punk, Lesnar had legitimate credentials when he stepped into the octagon for the very first time, as he was a former NCAA Heavyweight Champion. Punk, on the other hand, is an MMA super-fan who has a background in Kempo and would do Jiu-Jitsu as a hobby while he was a professional wrestler. So, the comparison between Lesnar and Punk begins and ends with the fact that they were both former pro wrestlers when they made the move to the UFC.
The aforementioned MMA purists want to see Punk fail at his new career. Even some WWE fans want to see Punk fail, in hopes that after he realizes that he’s failed, he’ll make his return to WWE. Of course, Punk is aware that those fans are out there, and he’s telling them to “shut the f*** up, and don’t watch me fight.”
“At the end of the day, it’s about me and not anyone else. But, yeah, I used to not be able to read or walk or ride a bike or drive a car. Those people who are down on me trying this? Shut the f*** up and don’t watch the fight.
“The people who are mad or think this is an embarrassment to the UFC or the sport? I used to not be able to ride a bike. So when I was learning how to ride a bike, does Lance Armstrong come up to me and say: ‘Who the f*** are you, trying to learn how to ride a bike?’ My attitude is punk rock across the board: Oh, you don’t think I should do it? Well, I’m going to do it and I’m going to try to be the best I f***ing can.”
As of right now, CM Punk isn’t an advocate for professional wrestling. But there’s no question that his fame from his previous career allowed him to begin his MMA career in the world’s most elite fighting organization. However, it seems that Punk would be willing to trade all the fame and success to be able to go back in time and begin his MMA career 10 years ago.
“Every day I say to myself, ‘why didn’t I do this 10 years ago?’ I’ll watch an Anthony Pettis from five years ago and go, ‘He was good.’ Then I’ll watch him fight now and think, ‘He is like a totally different fighter.’ Thinking about all the knowledge I could have attained, yeah, I wish I had started earlier.”
According to CM Punk’s coach, Duke Roufus, Punk is getting better every day, and he should be ready to fight before this year ends. Punk’s weight class is still to be determined, but it does look like he will fight at welterweight, which is 170 pounds.
[Image via ESPN]