To add to an already jam-packed sports weekend, the UFC and former WWE superstar CM Punk – real name Phil Brooks – announced that they have come to a multi-fight deal at the UFC 181 event in Las Vegas this past Saturday. This news sent the internet into a frenzy after the announcement. Punk had the internet buzzing the past couple of weeks after he appeared on his good friend Colt Cabana’s podcast The Art of Wrestling to discuss his departure from the WWE. If you haven’t heard the podcast yet, do yourself a favor and do so. Punk aired his grievances with his former employer, owner and CEO Vince McMahon, along with some of his former co-workers which led to him leaving the company. Punk called out his former employer for multiple different things, including things such as story lines and health concerns. The controversial ex-WWE champion did not hold back in his discussion with Cabana, which gave some fans a sort of closure after his sudden departure back in January.
Punk, who is 36 years old, plans to enter the octagon in 2015. UFC president Dana White said Punk wouldn’t be fighting the more experienced guys, but guys that are 2-0, 1-0, or 1-1. Punk has always had his fair share of doubters during his professional wrestling career and will have even more now that he is in the UFC. Many will look at Punk as the “fake wrestler,” but that might not be the case here. Punk has trained Muay Thai as well as Gracie Jiu-jitsu. Now that doesn’t mean he will win any fights, but it does mean he will be well prepared. It had been documented that Punk has been an avid fan of mixed martial arts and has a strong passion for it. How that equates to his fighting abilities is something we will have to wait and see. Punk’s passion for wrestling led him to the top of the WWE and now he shifts gears with the UFC. However, that doesn’t mean he will have the same success he did in pro wrestling (or sports entertainment, whichever you prefer to call it), but he is fulfilling another dream of his, no matter the outcome of his fights.
The signing of Punk by White is a testament to White as a promoter. Punk is a guy who is globally known due to his time in the WWE. Many of his fans will buy the pay-per-view just to support him, while others will buy the event in hopes to see the “fake wrestler” lose. Either way you look at it, his first pay-per-view will certainly draw people to want to buy, no matter the rooting interest, which is good for the business for the UFC and for Punk.
CM Punk has been an underdog his whole life and in the UFC it will be no different. Punk is the type of guy who thrives off of people doubting him. Dana White and the UFC have struck gold with the signing of Punk, whether he wins or loses fights.