This past Saturday at UFC 181 in Las Vegas, it was announced that former WWE Superstar CM Punk has signed to fight in UFC and will make his Octagon debut sometime in 2015.
Punk was interviewed at cage side by Joe Rogan and said he is done with professional wrestling and that MMA is his full-time career now because it’s now or never for him.
Punk said that the weight class he will fight at is up in the air, but he is looking at middleweight (185 lbs), but welterweight (170 lbs) is a possibility. He also said that he will not fight at light heavyweight (205 lbs)
When asked who he was going to train with, Punk said he didn’t want to tip his hat just yet and that he is making inquires with a few camps.
I think many people assumed that CM Punk would eventually sign with Ring of Honor or New Japan Pro Wrestling after breaking free from WWE. Punk versus Shinsuke Nakamura or Hiroshi Tanahashi would have been cool to see.
Fighters under a UFC contract have a strict no pro wrestling clause in their contract. This move definitively states that Punk will be absent from the squared circle for at least the next three years.
Some will be happy for CM Punk, while others will be sour at him for supposedly turning his back on the profession that made him into a household name.
The venom on social media dictates that Punk owes the fans a proper goodbye or perhaps, even more than that for making him rich. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you attended a WWE show or watched on television, specifically to watch CM Punk, you got a promo, backstage segment, a better than average wrestling match, and an angle to keep his story going.
Our deep reverence for certain wrestlers gives us this idea that they owe us more when the price of admission is payment for services rendered. We are owed nothing except for a performance worthy of our hard-earned money.
I think it’s safe to say that Punk delivered consistently in spades, and a true fan will want him to succeed in his new career path of Mixed Martial Arts.
Speaking of fighting, Punk has put himself in the unique position of being the highest-profile rookie in the history of UFC. In fact, there will be more hype surrounding his fight than most in 2015.
In me, the hardcore geek wants to see him fight Jason David Frank, otherwise known as the Green Ranger, who has challenged Punk in the past and did so again after the news of Punk’s signing broke.
Frank has an amateur record of 4-0, 1-0 as a professional and perfectly matches the criteria of the caliber of opponent that Dana White said he was going to match up with Punk.
This is a big gamble that CM Punk didn’t have to take. However, this isn’t a one-time cash grab; it is a personal journey into a world he has a deep affinity for. Hopefully, it works out for him, and it will be fun to see it all unfold.