On December 7, 2014, eleven months after abruptly leaving WWE, CM Punk announced that he had signed with the UFC. The announcement was both surprising and unsurprising at the same time, as many believed that Punk would transition into MMA, but it was surprising to see the world’s biggest mixed martial arts organization welcome in a guy who had no previous pro or amateur martial arts experience.
Just a couple of days later, the UFC sent Punk out on a media tour to promote his new gig, but at the time, no one knew anything about his future in the organization. He hadn’t announced his first opponent, he hadn’t announced which weight class he’d be competing at, and he hadn’t even announced where he would be training. So, naturally, those were some of the questions that he was asked during the tour, but he didn’t have an answer to any of them.
One of the shows that he was scheduled to do during the tour was TSN’s Off the Record with Michael Landsberg, which is a Canada-based show that has featured some of the most compelling sports interviews over the last decade. One of the reasons why they’re so compelling is because the host — Michael Landsberg — isn’t afraid of his guests, so he’ll ask anything, and if a guest gets fired up and walks out on the interview, he considers it good television.
Just before the interview started, Landsberg played a production piece which was meant to make CM Punk laugh but instead, it infuriated him. The piece basically made fun of the fact that we didn’t know anything about the ex-WWE star’s future in the UFC, and at the end, it suggested that Punk’s first fight would be against Chef Boyardee. So, the interview didn’t get off to a great start.
On top of being frustrated with the production piece, Punk was annoyed at Landsberg’s questions about his WWE exit. At one point in the interview, Punk, who was visibly annoyed, tried to steer the host into talking about his new career, but the host responded to him by saying “you’re not a UFC fighter.” While Punk didn’t storm out of the interview, it was quite clear that he had no interest in continuing it.
While speaking with Chael Sonnen — who stormed out of an interview with Landsberg back in 2011 — on the You’re Welcome podcast, the Off the Record host talked about his controversial interview with Punk, and whether or not he got any heat from the UFC because of it.
“I reached out to [CM Punk] afterwards and said ‘hey, I’m sorry if you were offended. I was trying to have some fun, if you felt like I disrespected you, I’m sorry.’ Well, that didn’t do any good — he calls the UFC and he calls [Dave] Sholler, and gets in touch with TSN, and all hell breaks loose. My boss then calls me and asks what happened, so I tell him, look, I’m a guy who has no problem saying when I’m wrong. That’s the way I’m wired; ‘I’m wrong, I’m sorry.’ But I didn’t do anything wrong, and he was being a sucky, whiny b**ch.”
Unlike Sonnen, who is now friendly with Landsberg, Punk hasn’t appeared on Off the Record again since the aforementioned media tour.
Much like two years ago, we really don’t know what CM Punk’s UFC future is now either. UFC president Dana White has said that he’s open to having Punk fight again in the organization, but he’s also said that he should probably fight somewhere else if he wants to continue his MMA career. Punk has said that he does want to fight again, but he may have to do it outside of the UFC.
[Featured Image by David Dermer/AP Images]