It was reported earlier this week that former-WWE World Heavyweight Champion-turned-pro-MMA fighter CM Punk would be undergoing back surgery on Wednesday, as he has been working through a herniated disc for quite some time now.
Punk suffered numerous injuries during his professional wrestling days, and as it turns out, his recent injury is one he suffered during his time in WWE, as Punk told MMA Fighting that his back injury was “wrestling s**t.”
“My back has always bugged me. Figured it was just wrestling s**t. Turns out it was. It got bad enough to the point where I couldn’t do anything the week before I went to train with the New Jersey Devils last month. One day I could manage, the next day I couldn’t. I’ve been in agony for almost a month. Chiropractor, acupuncture, massage, cryotherapy… nothing worked.”
Following the news of CM Punk’s injury, Ryan Reeves, better known to WWE fans as Ryback, sarcastically tweeted an apology to Punk, saying “my bad, it was an accident, I’m dumb as f***.”
@CMPunk My bad it was an accident "I'm dumb as f&€#" ????— The Big Guy (@Ryback22) February 11, 2016
In November of 2014, CM Punk appeared on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast, and he explained why he made the decision to leave WWE. During the podcast, Punk mentioned Ryback, calling him “steroid guy,” after saying that he injured him several times in the ring.
Punk then went on to talk about a time where Ryback was supposed to slam him onto a table, but instead, he missed the table completely, which ended up seriously injuring Punk, and according to the ex-WWE champ, he went right up to Ryback following the incident, and told him to his face that “you’re dumb as f***!”
After CM Punk told that story on Colt Cabana’s podcast, Ryback came out and said that Punk’s story wasn’t true, and that he was never confronted by Punk after the incident, which is why Ryback tweeted out the fake apology.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, CM Punk’s back injury was caused by Ryback, and it’s been something that he’s been trying to work through for the last couple of years.
CM Punk found out who his opponent would be last Saturday night after Mickey Gall made quick work of Mike Jackson. After Gall’s victory, Punk entered the octagon, and shook hands with Gall, then he went backstage for an interview with Ariel Helwani, where he could barely contain his excitement.
Earlier this year, UFC president Dana White said that CM Punk’s debut would likely take place at UFC 199 in June, but during Punk’s interview with Ariel Helwani, he made it clear that he wants to fight at UFC 200 in July, which may be why he decided to go ahead and get back surgery.
Punk should be fully recovered in four-to-six weeks, which would put him on pace to debut at UFC 200 instead of UFC 199, which is what he originally wanted. Furthermore, Mickey Gall, who will be Punk’s debut opponent, teased on Twitter that he and Punk will fight at UFC 200 in July.
Guys. It's all good. The fight is still on. Minor surgery. I wish @CMPunk a healthy & speedy recovery. I want you at 100%, check that, #200— Mickey Gall (@mickeygall) February 10, 2016
There are still some who believe that Punk, because of his age (37) and previous injuries, will never end up fighting in the UFC.
Since signing with the UFC back in December of 2014, two different injuries have ended up sidelining Punk. Back in the fall, he suffered a shoulder injury while training, and now he’s recovering from a back injury.
Punk has said that he plans to fight eight times in the UFC before he’s done competing, which, at the moment, seems extremely unlikely, especially considering that he’d have to fight well into his 40s to accomplish that goal.
[Featured image via Esther Lin/MMA Fighting]