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Former WWE Champion CM Punk has announced that he has signed for UFC, Ultimate Fighting Championship. He broke the news on Saturday at the UFC 181 pay per view. Punk has stated recently that he has no desire to return to professional wrestling and wants to etch a career for himself in mixed martial arts. Punk had this to say to UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan:
“It’s very awesome to be here. You know, this is something that’s been in the back of my mind for a very, very long time. I have a background in kenpo. I’ve done Brazilian jiu-jitsu off and on for a very, very long time. But the idea of being able to step in the Octagon and find out what’s inside myself and test myself is an opportunity I was not able to deny myself.”
At this time, it’s unknown what weight class he’ll compete in, it’s likely to be middleweight or welterweight, although Punk confirmed that Light Heavyweight isn’t an option. No opponent or date was announced for Punk’s debut in the Octagon. Punk has been an avid fan of UFC for a long time and has occasionally been spotted in the crowd at various UFC events; he once accompanied Chael Sonnen to the cage before, a request which Vince McMahon denied him from doing.
This news is bound to stir up some interest and controversy from both MMA and wrestling fans alike. There was a lot of hype surrounding Brock Lesnar’s UFC debut back in 2008, only for him to lose to Frank Mir via submission. Already, MMA fans began mocking Brock for the defeat and suggested that he was more suited to “fake wrestling” (God, I fucking hate it when people say that), but he ended up winning the title in his 4th fight and silencing the critics.
For Punk it could go either way. He could very well end up a success or fail to make the grade like Batista or Bobby Lashley. Punk’s signing will do some good business for UFC on the pay per view front with his fans tuning in to see if he can live up to the hype. Personally, I wish him well. I’m not a huge fan of UFC, the only time it gets my attention is when Sunderland born Ross Pearson is competing (I’m from Sunderland too). Will he compete with the CM Punk name? No. I can imagine him to fight under his real name of Phil Brooks, or perhaps, Phil “Chicago Made” Brooks or he could just drop the whole “CM Punk” name all together as a way of distancing himself away from his former wrestling background
I’ll be watching his debut, just like I did when Brock made his debut, and be giving him my full support.