Former professional wrestler CM Punk is scheduled to make his pro MMA debut at UFC 203 on September 10 in Cleveland, Ohio, as he’s going to be taking on the 2-0 Mickey Gall, who made his debut in the company back in February.
It’s been nearly two years since CM Punk signed with the UFC, and some were beginning to question if he’d ever actually make it to the Octagon. But, it appears that the ex-WWE star will finally make his Octagon debut, barring injury of course.
Punk being signed by the UFC was a polarizing subject for a number of reasons, with one of them being that he had no previous amateur or professional mixed-martial-arts experience. But, at the end of the day, the UFC is a business, and they’re trying to make the most amount of money possible, and they clearly felt that signing a guy like CM Punk would make them a ton of money.
One of the guys who was critical of Punk signing with the UFC was UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping, who volunteered to be the former WWE Champ’s first opponent. Of course, that fight was never even close to happening due to the vast experience difference, and due to the fact that Bisping would almost certainly run right through Punk. But now, as we’re nearing Punk’s debut, the current Middleweight Champ is wishing him luck, as he tweeted out that he has respect for anyone who has the courage to step inside the UFC’s Octagon.
Michael Bisping can certainly relate to Punk in a couple of ways: one is that they’re both some of the sport’s most polarizing figures. Of course, they’re polarizing figures within the MMA community for two completely different reasons, but Bisping has gone from being one of the most polarizing figures in the sport, to being one of the most beloved, and Punk has a chance to do that exact same thing if he can pick up a win at UFC 203.
Fox is going to air a CM Punk documentary on August 15, which documents Punk’s time at Roufusport MMA and his journey to his UFC debut. You can check out the trailer below.
As of this writing, CM Punk is listed as the underdog at UFC 203, which isn’t much of a surprise.
Mickey Gall has finished both of his pro MMA fights in the first round via submission, and his UFC debut was over in less than a minute. He does think that his fight with CM Punk will last a bit longer than his fight with Mike Jackson did, but he still believes that he will finish the former WWE superstar in the very first round.
With Punk being 37-years-old, it seems unlikely that he’ll fight in the UFC more than once if he loses on September 10. He has said in the past that he plans to fight multiple times. He has also said that he may even get a Welterweight Title shot if he can win a few fights in a row.
Fellow former pro wrestler Brock Lesnar got a Heavyweight Championship shot after just two fights in the UFC, and he went on to not only win the title, he also became the biggest pay-per-view draw in UFC history. Most are expecting that CM Punk will be a huge pay-per-view draw, and he would certainly be an even bigger draw than expected if he could not only get a title shot but win the Welterweight Title. Of course, that seems extremely far-fetched given the fact that he has no previous experience with combat sports, but, stranger things have happened.
[Photos by Gregory Payan/AP Images, Mike Roach/Getty Images]