CM Punk is the latest former pro wrestler to explore a career in mixed-martial-arts, and, due to the fact that he has no professional or amateur MMA experience, he’s received a lot of criticism, especially because he signed with the world’s number one MMA organization, the UFC.
We’re still several months away from Punk’s UFC debut, which hasn’t been announced yet, but is expected to take place at some point late this year, or early next year. UFC President Dana White has said that he won’t force Punk to make his debut, and that he’ll wait until Punk and his coaches make it clear that Punk is ready to fight.
Other former pro wrestlers who have made the transition to MMA have had a great deal of success, with Brock Lesnar being the most famous example. Bobby lashley — who just won his sixth straight fight on Friday at Bellator 138 — has also had a great deal of success inside the cage, however, both Lashley and Lesnar — unlike Punk — had pretty accomplished amateur wrestling backgrounds. But, according to Lashley, Punk entering the UFC with no base isn’t an issue, and it doesn’t really matter.
Before Friday night’s Bellator 138, Lashley spoke with Last Word On Sports, and said that he thinks CM Punk is going to “kick a**” in the UFC, and make a lot of people mad. He also thinks that after Punk’s debut fight, Punk will finally get the respect he deserves from the MMA community.
“I think Punk’s going to go to the UFC and kick somebody’s a**, and everybody’s going to be mad and give him the respect that he deserves. There’s so many guys that come into mixed-martial-arts without any kind of background. I think right now, it is kind of hard just because he’s coming in with zero fights in the UFC, so they’re going have to bring in somebody who is 0-0 or he’s going to have to fight somebody that’s been in there and it’s going to be a little difficult.”
CM Punk’s longtime friend and mentor, Paul Heyman, said earlier this month on the Stone Cold Podcast that Punk is okay with the fact that he might get decimated and embarrassed inside the octagon, because fighting in the UFC has been something that Punk has wanted to do for a long time.
When Punk signed with the UFC back in December, he made it clear that he was beginning a new career. However, there are people who expect Punk to quit the sport if he loses his debut fight in devastating or embarrassing fashion, which remains to be seen.
[Image via ESPN]