While signing CM Punk may, and probably will end up making the UFC money, there are a lot of hardcore MMA fans out there that don’t like the fact that an ex-WWE superstar with no professional or amateur MMA experience can be signed to the world’s biggest MMA organization.
The hardcore fans aren’t the only ones who think that the UFC signing Punk is a joke, there are also some fighters who believe the same thing, and there is one UFC legend who really isn’t a fan of the signing.
Don Frye — who fought during the early days of the UFC in the 90’s — appeared on The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast and had plenty to say about the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, saying that there’s no chance that CM Punk will ever pick up a win inside the octagon, and that the UFC’s signing of Punk “cheapens the sport.”
“There is absolutely none. They are going to feed him fish. They are going to hand pick an opponent for him so perfect that it will have all of the authenticity of a reality TV show.”
“I think this s**t cheapens the sport. Back when I did it, it was a fight and then it was a sport, now it’s becoming sports entertainment. This cheapens everything that people who came before him did for twenty years.”
There are certainly plenty of people who agree with Frye, saying that Punk should at least have to fight in other, smaller organizations and prove himself before the UFC should be interested in bringing him in. But the UFC sees money in Punk, as he was one of the biggest stars that WWE has had in the last 15 years.
The UFC’s gamble paid off when they brought in Brock Lesnar, who, at that point only had one professional MMA bout, as Lesnar became the biggest pay-per-view draw in the history of the company. In fact, Lesnar is one of the few men who helped make the UFC the combat sports juggernaut that it is today, and it’s clear that the UFC is hoping that Punk can do what Lesnar did and help their popularity grow.
There’s still no official date for Punk’s UFC debut, but he’s expected to fight in either December of this year or January of next year. There has been some talk of holding off his debut until UFC 200, which would be in July of next year, and it’s expected to be the biggest UFC show of all-time. But people are chomping at the bit to see Punk in the octagon, so it’s unlikely that the UFC will hold off on his debut until next summer.
[Image via Mike Roach / Getty Images]