It’s been almost 18 months since former WWE World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk signed with the UFC, and he still hasn’t made his debut inside the Octagon.
Originally, Punk was supposed to fight on this past Saturday night’s UFC 199 show against Mickey Gall, but a serious back injury that required surgery pushed the former WWE star’s debut back several months. Then, it was rumored that he would be on next month’s UFC 200 card, but Punk himself said that there was almost no chance of that happening.
So, when will he be making his UFC debut? Well, a date hasn’t been announced yet, but according to Dave Meltzer of the Wresting Observer and MMA Fighting, CM Punk may finally step inside the Octagon this coming August or September.
On Saturday’s post-UFC 199 edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Meltzer reported that Fox Sports 1 is planning on airing a series of CM Punk specials leading up to his fight, and that they’re planning on airing them in August, which suggests that the ex-WWE Champ will fight at either UFC 202 on August 20, which will be headlined by the Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz rematch, or at UFC 203 on September 10, which will be headlined by the Heavyweight Title fight between Alistair Overeem and Stipe Miocic.
“CM Punk is probably fighting by the way. What I can say about CM Punk is that FS1 is scheduling the CM Punk reality show to build to his fight in August, so that would probably mean [that he’s fighting on] August 20, or September 10 in Cleveland, and I believe that August 20 is in Vegas, and I tend to think that, of the two, they’d do it on August 20.”
There have been some questioning whether or not CM Punk would ever fight due to the fact that he’s always dealing with some kind of nagging injury. Also, there have been reports that he’s been struggling in training, mainly during sparring.
It looks like Punk will still be fighting Mickey Gall whenever he’s ready to step inside the Octagon, as Gall has guaranteed that the fighting between the two will happen at some point.
During Saturday’s UFC 199, the UFC announced that former Heavyweight Champion and current WWE superstar Brock Lesnar would be returning at UFC 200, but they didn’t announce his opponent. This led to a ton of speculation that the UFC would put Lesnar in the Octagon with the debuting Punk, but that’s not going to happen.
It seems likely that the UFC will put Punk on the UFC 202 card, which, as previously mentioned, is going to be headlined by McGregor vs. Diaz 2. Of the two dates that were mentioned, UFC 202 is, by far, the bigger show, which is why it’s the better card to debut Punk on.
As of right now, most believe that CM Punk will get destroyed if he ends up fighting Mickey Gall. But, unless Punk fought someone who is a complete unknown, almost every fan wouldn’t believe that Punk had the ability to win his debut or any other fight inside the Octagon.
If the UFC is planning on having Punk fight in August, expect them to announce it very soon, maybe even at UFC 200 next month, as there will be a ton of WWE fans watching that show because of the fact that Brock Lesnar will be on the card.
As of right now, business is good for the UFC, and it looks like things are going to continue to get better for them in the coming months, even if CM Punk never fights. But, he’ll still do big business for them if he does fight, which is why they’ve decided to keep him under contract despite the various setbacks.
[Image via The Fight Network]