When Phil Brooks -- better known as “CM Punk” – inked a deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in December 2014, fight fans were left scratching their head as to why he decided to leave a multi-million dollar contract with World Wrestling Entertainment to enter the Octagon as an untested mixed martial artist at the ripe old age of 36. Many believed it was a publicity stunt, although Punk assured fans he was serious in his attempt at making it as a fighter.
After numerous delays due to injury, Punk finally made his debut on Sept. 10, 2016 against the talented young up and comer Micky Gall, who exposed Punk’s many weaknesses and inexperience in the complex and brutal world of MMA. Punk lost the bout at 2:14 of the opening frame via rear-naked choke.
One of Punk’s teammates at Roufusport is former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Pettis recently appeared on The MMA Hour and discussed Punk’s progression since his first bout and why he thinks he’ll have better success in his next outing.
“I see him every day, man. That guy’s in the gym every day. He’s probably one of the hardest workers in the gym. He’s always there, always improving, and yeah, he’s definitely gotten better. You put that much time into [the game], you’re going to get better. He’s working the gi, he’s working no-gi. He’s training with top-level UFC guys inside his weight class, so I think we should see a better performance.”
On March 12, Punk announced via Twitter that he will be fighting at UFC 225 although nothing is official yet with UFC President Dana White pouring cold water on those claims.