The UFC’s decision to sign pro-wrestler, Phil “CM Punk” Brooks to a contract has brought on a tidal wave of coverage, as well as a lot of criticism. Everyone understands that signing the former WWE star is going to move tickets and possibly pay-per-view buys, but not everyone believes the UFC should be promoting someone based on their profile alone.
Of course, it remains to be seen if CM Punk can prove his naysayers wrong, and recently Dana White was asked about the signing in the latest “Download”. Here is some of what the promotion’s president told UFC.com:
“The feedback has been both – it’s mixed. Some people love it, some people hate it,” White said. “The people who are opposed to it and bitching about it, I get it. Every fight that we do isn’t going to be everybody’s thing, but there will be people who want to watch him and those that don’t.”
Yes, there have certainly been mixed reactions, but chances are even the critics are going to watch Brooks’ UFC debut next year. Speaking of critics, one fighter who has railed against the deal is Ben Askren, who as you may recall, was told by White that he needed to develop his resume, before he could sign with the promotion. After the CM Punk, Askren tweeted:
All you dummies believed @danawhite when he said I need more experience. Then he signs a 0-0 fake wrestler. LOL on you
Well, this is what White had to say in response to Askren, after reading the tweet.
“The thing is with Ben Askren is that Ben Askren doesn’t really want to fight here, in my opinion. People that are close to him say the same thing,” White said. “The guy is making a ton of money to fight nobodies, but when you talk and you say a lot of things it keeps your name out there. Trust me when I tell you this, Ben Askren does not want to fight in the UFC. Believe me when I tell you that.”
The UFC boss man has floated this argument before about Askren, and it does seem like a bit of an odd rebuttal no? Perhaps White has been told by ‘sources’ that Askren doesn’t want to fight in the UFC, but that doesn’t change what he’s said about “Funky’s” record in the past.
When Askren was negotiating with the UFC last year, not even Bellator wanted to resign the decorated wrestler because of his stifling style. Since then, however, Askren’s gone on to record two more finishes and win the ONE FC welterweight title.