When the UFC announced it had signed CM Punk to a deal, the news immediately blew up the internet. While much of that was because pro-rasslin fans, and others, were excited by the signing, many MMA purists weren’t exactly thrilled about the development.
By now, you’re likely more than familiar with the points critics have made: Punk has never fought in a professional MMA fight, so why has he been tapped to fight in the world’s biggest promotion? In addition, he doesn’t even have a background in another combat sport (at least James Toney–who fought and lost to Randy Couture– is one of the most decorated boxers in recent history). Further, Ben Askren was shunned by the UFC, even though he was Bellator’s welterweight champion and has gone undefeated to date. Those are but a few of the arguments that have been made…
While for the most part, it seems like many fans are pretty intrigued and or excited to see how Punk does, there are plenty of others who remain pretty annoyed about the move. So, what does the former WWE star have to say to those folks who don’t think he belongs in the Octagon, or that he’s doomed to fail? Well, recently Punk spoke with Sports Illustrated about his MMA aspirations, and while doing so, he stated:
Yeah, but I don’t think of it as a leap. The people who are mad or think this is an embarrassment to the UFC or the sport? I used to not be able to ride a bike. So when I was learning how to ride a bike, does Lance Armstrong come up to me and say: Who the f— are you, trying to learn how to ride a bike? My attitude is punk rock across the board: Oh, you don’t think I should do it? Well, I’m going to do it and I’m going to try to be the best I f—ing can. At the end of the day, it’s about me and not anyone else. But, yeah, I used to not be able to read or walk or ride a bike or drive a car. Those people who are down on me trying this? Shut the f— up and don’t watch the fight.
That’s one way of looking at it sure. It will be interesting to see what kind of numbers Punk’s UFC debut generates. Chances are it’s going to be pretty significant, because we all know, even the haters will probably tune in.
Punk, or Phil Brooks, continues to train for his UFC debut out of Roufusport in Milwaukee. The aspiring fighter is expected to fight for the first time in late 2015, or early 2016.