Conor McGregor certainly possesses some of the gifts that pro-wrestlers have, but the rising featherweight clearly isn’t sure that former WWE star CM Punk should be stepping in the Octagon.
“Notorious” has made a bazillion headlines since he arrived in the UFC last year, due to his abilities as a showman and knack for making eyebrow raising comments. As a result, the Irish fighter has drawn comparisons to pro-wrestlers, but, even McGregor’s biggest critics would concede the featherweight has some top tier, fighting skills (yes, even if he hasn’t faced a decorated wrestler, as in real wrestling, just yet).
Recently, McGregor spoke to Severe MMA, and he was asked to weigh-in on the UFC’s signing of Phil “CM Punk” Brooks, who as you probably know, has never fought in a professional MMA bout. Here is some of what the 26 year-old had to say (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“As far as the CM Punk thing, he has a different fanbase, the WWE fans. To be honest, it’s weird to me to let an amateur come in and do it in the pro game. I mean, who knows what his skill level is like? I would like to see it the way they done it with [former UFC heavyweight champion] Brock [Lesnar]. Brock had one or two fights in the smaller league. Brock was a different animal all together. He had Division 1 All-American wrestling status.
“CM Punk? I don’t know,” said McGregor. “Listening to him speak, when I heard the broadcast announcement I saw a man afraid. Like he signed up for something he didn’t want to be. When the shin bone cracks the body or the elbow cracks or the heel cracks… It doesn’t get much more real than that. Personally, I don’t think he should be in this league just yet, but again, you bring asses to the seats, you bring eyeballs to the screen and we will give you a shot.”
McGregor certainly isn’t the first UFC fighter to question whether Brooks belongs in the Octagon, but his comments about the former WWE star looking “afraid” are interesting. Although, many would say Brooks should be right? Considering, by all accounts, he hasn’t done very much MMA training.
All the CM Punk talk aside, McGregor is scheduled to meet Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 59 on January 18th. If “Notorious” can score a big win, then by the looks of it, he’ll move on to face featherweight champ Jose Aldo next.
That card will go down at the TD Garden Arena in Boston.