CM Punk’s first UFC fight didn’t go as well as he had hoped, as he was completely destroyed by young, up and comer Mickey Gall.
Following the loss, many believed — including UFC president Dana White — that CM Punk wouldn’t get another shot in the UFC. But, on Monday’s MMA Hour, Punk told Ariel Helwani that he’s confident that his next fight will be in the UFC.
“I don’t want to speak for [Dana White], but I think if he wants to kill it, he would have killed it right then. Until anything is official, I don’t want to say either way what he’s thinking. But yeah, I’m pretty confident that [my next fight] will be in the UFC.
Punk, who turned 38 last month, also said during his appearance on the MMA Hour that he has an idea about what the UFC will do with him next, but he wouldn’t share the idea.
The idea that Punk wouldn’t share may be that the UFC is planning on having him be one of the featured fights on one of their big Fox fight cards. Of course, he is a proven draw on pay-per-view, but he’d be an even bigger draw on free television. So, putting him on Fox may not be the worst idea, especially if he fights someone that he can beat.
Following Punk’s first round loss back in September, Mike Jackson — who also got destroyed by Mickey Gall in the first round back in February — called out the ex-professional wrestler. Like Punk, Jackson has an 0-1 pro MMA record, so a fight between the two would make sense.
In the weeks leading up to his fight with Mickey Gall at UFC 203, many questioned what kind of drawing power CM Punk had, and as it turns out, he was a pretty good draw, as he added an estimated 150,000 buys to the show. If he didn’t turn out to be a decent draw, there’s a good chance that the UFC would’ve cut him shortly after the fight.
It’s been over two months since Punk’s debut, and the UFC still hasn’t cut him, which suggests that they’ll probably hold on to him, and have him fight one more time. When will his next fight be? We’ll probably find out before the end of the year. But, it’s likely that he’ll fight in early-2017.
If the UFC does decide to cut him, their chief competitor — Bellator MMA — will probably sign him in a heartbeat. So, Punk will probably get another shot in a major MMA organization if his current employer decides to let him go. Who will he fight if he goes to Bellator? Well, he’ll probably fight Mike Jackson, because that’s someone who he can beat.
Other than Mike Jackson, there really isn’t anyone out there that Punk can fight, especially if the UFC holds on to him. Sure, they could go out and get an unproven amateur fighter, and hope for the best. But, the fans would probably hate that. If he was in there with Jackson, at least he’d be fighting a guy who has stepped foot inside the UFC’s Octagon before.
Some are hoping that Punk will return to the company that helped make him famous — WWE — if he’s let go by the UFC. But, last week, he shot down the idea of him returning to WWE for next spring’s WrestleMania 33. He didn’t leave WWE under the best of circumstances, and while both Triple H and Vince McMahon have said publicly that they’d gladly welcome him back, it’s pretty clear that he still has no interest in returning to professional wrestling.
[Featured image by David Dermer/AP Images]