On Saturday, CM Punk learned that he faces off with similarly inexperienced mixed-martial artist Mickey Gall this summer. On Wednesday, CM Punk underwent back surgery and Gall learned he faces someone other CM Punk in his next bout.
“My back has always bugged me,” the former professional wrestler confessed to MMAFighting.com. “Figured it was just wrestling s—. Turns out it was. It got bad enough to the point where I couldn’t do anything the week before I went to train with the New Jersey Devils last month. One day I could manage, the next day I couldn’t. I’ve been in agony for almost a month.”
Punk joined the UFC in December of 2104 after success in the WWE’s fake fighting circuit. But more than a year into his contract, he remains 0-0 in the octagon with no fight on the horizon. At 37, already past his athletic prime, CM Punk looks increasingly like a never-was-been. It may be two years from when he first started talking about fighting in the UFC that he first fights in the UFC. And even then, the former wrestler likely faces competition well below UFC level. One begins to wonder whether, to borrow pro wrestling parlance, whether hyping a real match for the scripted performer was more work than shoot all along.
Breitbart Sports caught up to stablemate Anthony Pettis last month and inquired about CM Punk. The former UFC lightweight champion described his Roufusport teammate as “definitely learning the ropes of mixed-martial arts right now.” Pettis noted, “He came in and didn’t have much experience. But he works hard.”
Ken Shamrock and Muhammad Lawal, two guys with experience in both MMA and pro wrestling, offered similar complimentary words for CM Punk when Breitbart Sports spoke to them last year. Several other fighters, including the UFC’s John Howard, offered skepticism. Howard told Breitbart Sports he would obliterate CM Punk without holding a training camp and believed that the worst fighter ever to appear on The Ultimate Fighter reality show could beat the former WWE champion.
Pettis, who dropped a decision to Eddie Alvarez in Boston last month, told Breitbart Sports that CM Punk would debut this year. “He has millions of dollars now, and he’s coming in here and getting beat up every day in the gym,” Pettis explained. “That’s the motivating part.”
Pettis reasons,”He’s just the guy who wants to challenge himself.”