Plenty of folks aren’t on board with the UFC’s decision to sigh Phil “CM Punk” Brooks, not only because he’s a pro-wrestler who’s never fought, but because little is known about his abilities. Well, according to Bellator’s “King Mo” Lawal, from what he witnessed during a recent training session in Las Vegas, Brooks looks pretty slick on the mats.
Lawal recently spoke with MMA Junkie.com about CM Punk, and here is some of what the decorated wrestler had to say about the former WWE star:
“He’s taller in real life,” Lawal said. “He’s actually bigger than me. We took a few pictures and I was like, ‘Look, I’m going to stand on my tippy-toes, and you squat down.’ We did that, and then he said, ‘You squat down.’ And that’s the one that went in the media.”
“I just saw him grappling, and he looks like a jiu-jitsu guy,” Lawal noted. “He looks like a brown belt; he moves real well on the mat. He’s real smooth.”
Brooks has trained with Rener Gracie in recent years, and relayed after his UFC signing, that he considers Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as his base. As Ralek Gracie recently noted, however, CM Punk does not have any “top level grappling creds”, so the public doesn’t really know how good his grappling pedigree is.
Lawal, of course, has done some training in pro-wrestling as a result of his deal with Viacom, and he argued it is “much harder” on the body than MMA.
Of course, now that Brooks has signed with the UFC he will likely pour all of his time and resources into preparing for his MMA debut, so one would think his skillset will be improved by the time he fights.
In addition, it’s worth noting that Dana White has relayed Brooks won’t be matched up against an established vet. So, in other words, CM Punk isn’t facing the same type of UFC debut that Brock Lesnar had (who fought former champ Frank Mir in his promotional debut).
Lawal, meanwhile, is coming off consecutive stoppage wins Dustin Jacoby and Joe Vedepo, and currently isn’t booked for his next bout with Bellator.