CM Punk followed in the footsteps of Brock Lesnar by walking out of a WWE ring and into the UFC octagon.
The former WWE champion made a surprise announcement at UFC 181 that he would join the mixed-martial arts promotion. “I’m excited,” the charismatic professional wrestler confessed. Despite the WWE billing him as weighing 218 pounds, CM Punk said he would likely compete at 185 or possibly 170 depending how an experimental weight cut goes.
One of the WWE’s most marketable wrestlers of recent times, CM Punk ended his tenure with the promotion on a sour note. Learning that he had competed with a staph infection for several months and receiving termination papers on his wedding day turned CM Punk against the promotion, its doctors, and, especially, Vince McMahon. The pro-wrestling magnate earlier this week apologized to his former employee for the bad timing of his firing.
The man named by his parents Phil Brooks had appeared with Chael Sonnen, a now-retired mixed-martial artist who employed a professional wrestling schtick, around UFC events in the past. He now plays as part of the promotion rather than on the periphery. His contract includes multiple fights.
Several mixed-martial artists expressed interest in beating up the retired professional wrestler:
I want the CM punk fight @ufc 170 – 185lbs it don’t matter! I will show him what 6years in ufc feels like