It’s been 10 months since ex-WWE wrestler CM Punk signed on the dotted line with the UFC, and every day since then, Punk has been, according to his coaches and teammates, working hard and progressing nicely en-route to his inevitable UFC debut.
Since his decision to sign with the UFC last December, both the organization and CM Punk have been subject to criticism from the “hardcore” MMA fans, who aren’t very fond of ex-professional wrestlers stepping into “their” sport. Even someone like Brock Lesnar, who was a very well decorated collegiate wrestler, faced a ton of backlash when he signed with the UFC because of his previous affiliation with World Wrestling Entertainment.
Facing criticism is nothing new for CM Punk, as he’s been in the public eye for a decade now, and during that time, whether it’s fair or unfair, he’s faced a ton of fan criticism, most notably after he abruptly left WWE in January of last year.
Following his unexplained WWE exit, CM Punk was criticized for several months, and during that time, Punk chose to remain silent about the issue. Then, in November of that very same year, Punk appeared on the Art of Wrestling podcast, explaining why he left the organization that helped make him into the star that he is today. Punk listed several reasons why he left — frustration, creative differences, being unhappy with his pay — but, the biggest issue that caused him to leave was his health.
In his 10 plus-year long professional wrestling career, CM Punk has suffered a ton of injuries. So, many wondered how he would hold up in a full-contact, mixed-martial-arts training camp, and up until recently, he was doing just fine.
During a sparring session at Roufusport, where CM Punk is currently preparing for his UFC debut, Punk ended up in a scramble on the ground, and he posted off his elbow with most of his body weight. Then he, and the rest of the gym, heard a pop.
“Well, I dodged a bullet. The doctor after the MRI said that nothing was torn. We originally thought it was a torn labrum or rotator cuff, and that’s not the case. I might have slightly torn something, unfortunately MRI’s aren’t 100 percent conclusive.”
Punk’s shoulder injury is a big road block in the way of his UFC debut, but, much like with criticism, Punk is no stranger to road blocks.
One of the things that CM Punk was known for in the professional wrestling world, and it’s one of the things that the MMA world is finding out, is that he has an incredible drive and work ethic. He’s willing to push through just about anything to achieve his own personal goals. So, those who know him well aren’t expecting that this shoulder injury, no matter how severe it may be, will keep him from ever debuting in the UFC.
When asked when he will be debuting in the UFC, CM Punk noted that he wants to fight before the end of the year, but, he also realizes that now, fighting before the end of the year isn’t really a possibility due to his injury.
Right now, Punk is targeting either April, May, or June as possible months that he could make his UFC debut. There has been some speculation that the UFC will hold his UFC debut off until UFC 200 in July, in an effort to make that show the biggest-drawing show in the history of the organization, but, of course, that remains to be seen.
[Image via MMA Fighting]