If you’ve been eagerly awaiting CM Punk’s UFC debut, well, it looks like you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer, as the former WWE Champion and current 0-0 UFC fighter injured his shoulder in training on Monday, which guarantees that he will not fight in 2015.
As for the significance of the injury, well, it appears that it’s not very serious, as ESPN is reporting that CM Punk will be unable to train for just one month, and then he’ll be able to resume preparing for his UFC debut.
CM Punk’s coach at Roufusport, Duke Roufus, said that Punk’s injury occurred during a scramble while he was sparring, and that he’s going to take a little bit of time off. Roufus also said that Punk has been doing great, and that he expects Punk’s debut to take place next spring.
“He got caught in a scramble, so right now he’s taking a little time off. He was doing great before that. His progress has been good. He’s got a great attitude and he’s a hard worker. He got a place in Milwaukee where he lives all week when he’s here training, so he’s in it to win it.”
There was some concern after CM Punk signed with the UFC that he wouldn’t be able to make it through a full training camp without getting injured, due to his injury history while he was with WWE, which included multiple concussions and major knee injuries.
Punk’s history with concussions is a cause for concern, as they may affect his ability to take a punch. If you look at Brock Lesnar, who was also an ex-WWE champion turned UFC fighter, you’ll see that he had an inability to take big shots during his time in the UFC, and some have pointed to the fact that he suffered multiple concussions during his time in pro wrestling as the cause of that.
Up to this point, CM Punk’s concussion history hasn’t hurt him in training or sparring. However, it may when he finally steps into the octagon next year.
There’s still no obvious opponent for CM Punk, and the UFC is pretty much in a no-win position when it comes to selecting Punk’s debut opponent because, if Punk’s first opponent is an unskilled nobody, the fans will complain that they’re setting Punk up against a “tomato can.” But, if they give him a skilled veteran, that guy could very well make Punk look bad in his debut, which is not exactly what the UFC wants.
Of course, there are plenty of UFC middleweights and welterweights who would love to be CM Punk’s debut opponent, as they feel that it would be a cake walk, and an easy payday.
Punk has said in the past that he expects to fight at either middleweight [185 pounds] or welterweight [170 pounds] when he makes his UFC debut, and it’s looking more and more like he’ll end up fighting at welterweight, which could mean that his UFC debut will be against MMA veteran Cathal Pendred, who has a professional record of 15 wins, 3 losses, and 1 draw.
Over the summer, Pendred went on Twitter and poked fun at CM Punk’s training footage, saying that Punk’s lack of hand speed made him look like Muhammad Ali. Punk then responded with a series of abrasive tweets, and the two engaged in a bit of a Twitter war for the next few days, which has led many to believe that the two will fight each other when Punk is ready to debut.